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Finally breaking down and acquiring the DVD, with superior picture and sound, inspired me to write a review. His stage directions were considered as important as the words and music.
It replaced a traditional representative staging with an abstract one, featuring measured, almost ritualistic movement and a very innovative use of lighting, without violating the spirit of the original.
But what we mostly got was directors who made the wrong assumption that they were creative, rather than re-creative, artists, and used Wagner as a vehicle to foist upon us their own psychological, sexual, and political hangups.
Part of the problem was that most had little or no musical training. I "El anillo del nibelungo online dating" from personal experience that a director who is not a musician cannot comprehend how music functions in an opera, articulating and interpreting what happens on stage.
Unfortunately, the critics jumped on the bandwagon to support this directorial self-indulgence. He was obstructed by the administration and savaged by the critics, and neither he nor conductor Georg Solti returned to the festival. For me, it works beautifully. James Levine has never been my idea of a great Wagner conductor; he seems more comfortable in Italian opera. And he consistently seems to equate increased speed with excitement, a mistake seldom made by the older Wagner conductors.
But he does nothing objectionable, he supports his singers sympathetically, and he draws beautiful playing from the Met orchestra.
The cast is about the best that could have been assembled at the time and is consistently excellent.