Feb 122012
 



Vicki here.

Last week’s question about board games suited me perfectly. This one… not so much. I enjoy listening to music but I am totally tone deaf and really don’t know much about it, other than what I like.

I’ve been trying to learn a bit about opera. Being tone deaf, big brassy music is what I like best. Yesterday I went to my local theatre to see the Met live-via-satellite performance of Gotterdammerung. I bought my ticket in advance and when I got to the booth she said, “You know it’s six hours long?” No I didn’t know (see above for lack of musical education). However, I gamely bought my ticket thinking if I didn’t like it, I could leave during one of the two intermissions.
I did know enough to know that Gotterdammerung is but the fourth of a four part storyline. I have a book at home titled Tolkien’s Ring, which is an exploration of the influences on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (waiting for the LOTR question, here: That’s my niche!) The book contained the entire plot synopsis of Wagner’s Ring Cycle so at least I was able to attend the performance knowing what was going on.

I loved it! At the end, I found it hard to believe I’d been sitting there for six hours (nice comfy seats too). I loved the music, the costumes, the singers. The set, not so much, being more about light and technology than objects, but it was okay. The main character of Brunnhilde was sung by Deborah Voight and she was magnificent. Just spectacular. Interestingly, I find female voices in opera much more powerful than male voices. The best scene yesterday was between Brunnhilde and her Valkyrie sister. Waltraude, the second, the dramatic finale which is all Brunnhilde’s.

So, would I describe Gotterdammerung as the soundtrack of my life? Hardly. No magic rings, no heroes leaping through fire, no sleeping on a rock waiting to be rescued.
No hatred and betrayal, either.

But I loved the performance yesterday. I’d highly recommend that anyone who wants to expanse their musical experience, try attending on of these live performances.

http://ringcycle.metoperafamily.org/