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Patricia Parry

Hi Jim!
ahh! this is wonderful! Love your bemused, but at the same time, incisive and insightful writing style...made me laugh : ) ...but it also makes me want to see this thing! I've never seen even one act of The Ring, even though it must have been part of my music studies so long ago. I will have to remedy that. Thanks for a brilliant (and fun!) review.
cheers, Patricia

gretchen pomeroy

Well, Jim, after finishing today's NYT's puzzle I saw your link to Rheingold. I am sorry you where underwhelmed. I was at the Met the day of the broadcast and was completely blown away. I admit to being a bit of a Ring junkee - this will be my fifth cycle. But that set that you described as thingamajiggies was magnificent in person. How it morphed for the journey into Neibleheim was an amazing feast for the eyes. I understand from my opera friends who saw the HD broadcast, the full effect was not captured by the close-ups. My advice to you - make a trip to NYC in the spring and catch it live. I think you will change your mind.


LOL. Love it. I've been trying to convince my girlfried that we should go to NY to see the Ring when it's finally all put together. I pointed her to this piece and she finally agreed at least to "think about it." I think we're going :)

Blanche Schulz

So you "loved every moment of it"? All that negativity doesn't sound like it. For me it was an overwhelming experience (once I got past seeing the gods in breastplates and skirts, that is). I was in tears at the end, and could hardly roust myself out of my seat. It's a long wait to Die Walküre.

Denny S

I read this as more humorously affectionate than negative but whatever. It's in the long tradition of Ring reviews. There's always something to poke fun at but every production (I've seen nearly 10) is a great absurd adventure. I wish more people would take the plunge. Maybe this review will convince some people to try it.

Dale Hill

Actually, Jim, if you look at photos from historical productions, going back to the first, Wotan has always hidden the missing eye with a lock of hair, so this is just a reversion.
I've seen four and a half Rings live, but I saw this Rheingold in HD (in Maine) and I agree with your reservations (about the production too). I've seen many videos taken from live performances that I've attended, and I hate it when the director (usually Brian Large) pulls in tight on a singer's tonsils when I know for a fact that something much more interesting is happening on the other side of the stage.

carolyn page

How fun this sounds. Of course it is the singing and the orchestra and the acting but the set might draw in people who can't understand the thrill we get from this wonderful masterpiece. The ring really grows on me. We can't even see the feed to movie houses here in SD but hope to see it on TV.


This reminds me of a review I saw of this year’s Das Rheingold that was projected in Times Square. “Would have enjoyed it more without all the honking.” I’m kidding, of course, but my point is that I think reviews should be based on the live performance, not courtesy screenings for those who could not attend the real deal. One could argue, of course, that if the Met is going to bring its performances to the screen, then it should factor into its production decisions and we should hold them accountable for the results. Given the already Herculean task of bringing Wagner (Wagner!) to life, this seems like too much to ask. Personally, I’d rather not dissuade the Met from reaching out more broadly to Opera lovers (and potential Opera lovers.)

Really, I can’t blame you from wanting to write about something more interesting than this week’s 17-across fill, but I think it would have been more illuminating to write strictly about the experience of seeing Opera in a movie theater. The bladder and timing pieces were useful. What’s the energy like? Are snacks allowed? Paint a picture of the unusual juxtaposition of highbrow experience with low-brow environment.


Enjoyed seeing this, after following the link from the crossword page. And very much enjoyed your review of Das Rheingold. I also got the sense that you had a great time at the opera, even with (or perhaps, as you allude, especially with) the production foibles. As you probably know, Anthony Tomassini, the NYTImes critic, who we presume did attend in person, had his own qualified enthusiasms about the set and staging. I look forward to seeing it.

As for what qualifies as more interesting than 17 across fill? Hmm, let's see. Your blog, your choice! (But I am curious, is popcorn permitted? Is the theater filled with the sound of chomping crispy salty snacks during the more lugubrious sections?)

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