Johan Reuter (Wotan), Michael Kristensen (Loge), Sten Byriel (Alberich), Randi Stene (Fricka), Stephen Milling (Fasolt), Christian Christiansen (Fafner), Anne Margrethe Dahl (Freia), Hans Lawaetz (Donner), Johnny van Hal (Froh), Bengt-Ola Morgny (Mime), Susanne Resmark (Erda), Djina Mai-Mai (Woglinde), Ylva Kihlberg (Wellgunde), Hanne Fischer (Flosshilde)
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Production by Kasper Bech Holten
Seven-DVD set of Wagner’s gargantuan Ring Cycle – the celebrated, critically-acclaimed production at the Royal Danish Opera, come to be known as the Copenhagen Ring. Striking, memorable and controversial staging by Kasper Bech Holten. The action, experienced as an extended flashback, presents Wagner’s epic as a family saga from a feminist perspective. The production is visually stunning, disturbing and at times explicit.
“The first of several wonders in this new set… is the intuitive performing skill of a genuine house ensemble. …Copenhagen has achieved a class Ring with just one guest, James Johnson's Walküre/Siegfried Wotans. Moreover, if Stockholm is the Venice of the north, the Royal Danish Orchestra must be the Vienna Philharmonic of the north with its forward, rich woodwind timbres (a Nielsen sound, wholly suitable for Nibelung music) and cool-sweet string tone, the whole integrated, balanced and paced with a Kempe-like swiftness and attention to rhythmic detail by their chief Michael Schønwandt. ...the visual editing is busy, justifying allusions to the hand-held operation rediscovered by Danish art cinema directors. It gives the films a breathless close-up quality, the absolute inverse of the accustomed best-seat-in-the-stalls approach. Kasper Bech Holten's production... is... costumed and situated between (approximately) 1920 and the 1990s, and - through ever-ingenious lateral thinking - finds latter-day equivalents for Wagner's geography, properties and dramatic violence. In addition to the sheer zip of performance and filming, the sound picture is warm, resonant and true, the English subtitles... give an unsually revealing and detailed insight into Wagner's text, and, winningly, the "extra" item consists of a discussion between the stage director and his country's opera-loving head of state.”
“superbly acted, more than decently sung and executed with a technical bravura that puts recent London stagings to shame”
“Vocally, the main players are formidable, with Iréne Theorin’s accurate and tireless Brünnhilde an even match for Stig Andersen’s genuine Heldentenor contributions...Klaveness does not supply an ideal bass gravitas for Hagen but he’s quite the nastiest exponent of the role one could encounter. This is a wonderful Ring to watch as well as to listen to, a must-have for Wagnerians anywhere.”
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