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Human being is a technical animal and Wagner himself wanted the most up-to-date machinery to be used in his operas. Lepage’s engineering course in the Met production of «Rheingold» is a quest for the internal essence of Wagner’s masterpiece.
Вотан и Логе идут в царство нибелунгов. © 2010 Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
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Робер Лепаж отказывается от технологий на фестивале Луминато в Торонто

A magnificent forty five tonne device, that required the reenforcement of the Metropolitan Opera stage, has revealed the true meaning of the name of Robert Lepage’s company. Ex Machina viewed Wagner’s task as an engineering one. A platform made of a light metal was covered with a special layer allowing it to serve both as a stage and a screen. Each turn of this platform is unpredictable, as well as, the uncountable number of the combinations created by the twenty-four plates of this transformer. The latter portrays the rocks the giants emerge from, Wotan’s castle where he lives with his family, a blue cross-section of the Rhine river with the playing mermaids, dwarf Alberich’s dungeon and its slaves forging gold and an impressive «Mebius strip», which Wotan and Loge use as a path while setting off for the Nibelungs’ kingdom in search of the magic ring and the helmet. An interactive live projection against the specially prepared surface transforms it into a partner of the human actor in Wagner’s masterpiece.

Interactivity is a tangible achievement of the modern theatre. However, unlike in the 70s when this word denoted the interplay between the actor and the audience, today, this term has taken on an anthropogenic tinge, largely meaning the interaction of the actor with a live stage image. This technique, put forth by Lepage himself (see «Damnation in HD»), does not have a direct analytical goal -- it projects an unfocused model of the reality onto the stage. However, in the «Rheingold», Lepage takes it further, forcing the parts of the scenographic machine to move, change its shape, interplay with the actors and, most importantly, interact with the dramatic and musical fabric. A spectator of the Lepage's opera is an explorer of the maze of artistic image, and Lepage’s new interactivity allows this explorer to better reveal the possible destinations of the opera.

James Levine together with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra find in Wagner’s music an ideal balance of symphonizm and theatricality. The singers Bryn Terfel in the part of Wotan, Eric Owens in the part of Alberich, Stephanie Blythe in the part of Frick, Patricia Bardon in the part of Erda comprehend the secrets of Wagner’s music not only with its powerful surges but also with its unexpected whispers.

Вотан, Фрейя, Фрика. «Золото Рейна» Вагнера © 2010 Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

In that proportion of the stage space and Wagner’s music arises an image of a timeless person who speaks with gods in the complete and whole young world of the Imaginary.

The singers mastered this world of sharp angles and gaping abysses. The characters slide up and down the vertical walls or, like the goddess Erna, who orders Wotan to give the swindled ring back to the giants, conjure up right out of The Earth's depths. The Nibelungs’ forge shows up in copper colors in another transformation of the platform that just recently was a huge staircase that Wotan and Loge took to walk up to the Nibelungs’ kingdom. Nothing here is like in real life – everything is lager, more beautiful, more powerful. However, thanks to to Levine, the singers are leaders not followers.

Эрик Оуэнс в роли Альбериха. «Золото Рейна» Вагнера © 2010 Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
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When Peter Gelb became the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, the presence of the cinema and drama theatre pundits became the norm for the opera as well as the sign of at least two tendencies: the renovation of the Met's aesthetics and reaching out to a new audience, one that values not just the presence of a certain opera voice or a conductor, but a consistent vision of a classical score. In the Metropolitan Opera, as well as other leading houses, experimental productions are placed in a repertoire alongside with quite traditional ones. «Das Rheingold» script “structured the audience”, some part of which, being traditionally oriented, displayed their dislike for the director. The paradox is that Robert Lepage has managed to tell this story of Wagner’s, using all of today’s possible expressive and technological theatrical means, breaking through the total deafness.

Пещера нибелунгов. «Золото Рейна» Вагнера © 2010 Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
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Some decades ago, Herbert von Karajan conducted this opera at the Met. The spectators remember very vividly the stage - that was absolutely black, Wotan – barely seen in a dim ray of light and Karajan – on a high dais in a bright ray of light in white clothes. In the present «Das Rheingold», James Levine also found himself in a bright ray of light – the national anthem was played on the stage to mark the 40th anniversary of his work. Giving a round of standing applause to their favorite director, the audience got as a present a magnificent view of the engineering mount, whose grandeur could be compared only with the beauty of the flickering golden-blue waters of the Rhine against which the Rhine’s mermaids were beating their tails.

Мост радуги. «Золото Рейна» Вагнера © 2010 Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
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Пятница, 15 Февраля 2019
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