Munich's new Ring cycle kicks off tonight with the premiere of Das Rheingold. The remaining operas follow in quick succession, culminating in two full cycles at the summer festival in July. Following his brilliant and innovative Munich Wozzeck , hopes are high that director Andreas Kriegenburg can again produce something memorable.
Kriegenburg sees the work as a delicate chamber piece and aims to bring out its psychological nuances. In interviews he has disparaged ostentatious productions in favour of what he calls collective narrative. Making do with minimal sets, scenic elements like Valhalla and the Rhine will be represented by massed bodies, reflecting Kriegenburg's background in physical theatre.
The premiere is broadcast live tonight on BR Klassik starting at 7pm CET (6pm UK). It's conducted by Kent Nagano and the cast is Wotan Johan Reuter, Donner Levente Molnár, Froh Thomas Blondelle, Loge Stefan Margita, Alberich Johannes Martin Kränzle, Mime Ulrich Reß, Fasolt Thorsten Grümbel, Fafner Phillip Ens, Fricka Sophie Koch, Freia Aga Mikola,j Erda Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Woglinde Eri Nakamura, Wellgunde Angela Brower, Floßhilde Okka von der Damerau.
Written orders for the full cycles in July are currently being processed - any remaining tickets (fat chance is my guess) go on sale online on 24 March.
There's a longer trailer, with interviews, on the Bavarian State Opera's website.