October 11, 2009 (limited)
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Cast: Matti Salminen, Juha Uusitalo, Petra Maria Schnitzer, Jennifer Wilson, Anna Larsson, Bernadette Flaitz, Helen Huse Ralston, Pilar Vázquez, Christa Mayer, Eugenia Bethencourt, Heike Grötzinger, Manuela Bress, Hannah Esther Minutillo
Performed at the Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia"
In the words of the prestigious German weekly "Die Zeit," the stage production of Wagner's "Rheingold" and "Walküre" by La Fura dels Baus "quite possibly shows us the path that musical theater will be taking in the future." There's no doubt about it: the city of Valencia is setting new accents in 21st-century opera not only with its spectacular new theater designed by Santiago Calatrava, but also with its visually transfixing production of Wagner's "Ring" staged by Carlos Padrissa and his theater group La Fura dels Baus. The Barcelona-based Fura blends music, dance, acrobatics and technology into unforgettable stage events of sometimes raw but always captivating power. The Fura made its breakthrough in the classical establishment with its production of Berlioz's "La damnation de Faust" at the 1999 Salzburg Festival.
The Fura's fertile visual fantasy and endless combinations of savvy video technology, lighting and props (often formed of human beings) are predestined for Wagner's visionary expressive world. Wagner's dream of a Gesamtkunstwerk becomes reality as this shape-shifting sequence of tableaux unfolds before our eyes: 3D computer projections that evoke computer games, organic structures built of athletic performers that recall the "Cirque du Soleil," and much more. In this production, "the visual codes of the digital era become elemental and dazzlingly employed means of narration" (Opernwelt).
Musically, the first two parts of Wagner's tetralogy"Das Rheingold" and "Die Walküre"are on a par with productions from historically more prestigious opera houses. Legendary conductor Zubin Mehta leads world-class Wagner singers such as Peter Seiffert, Petra-Maria Schnitzer and Matti Salminen, and promising young talents that include Jennifer Wilson (Brünnhilde), John Daszak (Loge) and Juha Uusitalo (Wotan), whom the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung hailed as a new "Number one among the opera gods." Equally outstanding is the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, an ensemble of top musicians hand-picked by Music Director Lorin Maazel.
Carlos Padrissa, La Fura dels Baus
Studio: Emerging Pictures