“When you look at this you feel like this is finally the ‘Ring’ that Wagner would have wanted all along” says Georges Nicholson, a 'Wagner historian' not found in Intermezzo's Big Book of Wagner Historians. His extravagant claim for Robert Lepage's Met Ring was made in Susan Froemke’s documentary film Wagner’s Dream. “We are actually having the vision that Wagner had when he was composing,” he adds for good measure.
What, a row of spinning planks controlled by a microchip? I'm more inclined to think Wagner would prefer the Bavarian State Opera's latest wheeze - filling downtown Munich with naked Germans and taking photos.
Artist Spencer Tunick has been invited to create one of his famous mass-nude installations on the opening weekend of the summer opera festival (no doubt clearing the top end of the Englischer Garten in the process). Sadly, the work will not be called Tunick in Munich, but The Ring. Why?
As Intendant Nikolaus Bachler puts it: "Andreas Kriegenburg primarily tells his version of The Ring of the Nibelung by means of the performers' stage and gesticulation movements in addition to their singing. This produces an interesting equivalence to Spencer Tunick's human body installations. That is why it was an obvious choice to show these two projects for the Opera Festival".
But of course! Mr Lepage must wish he had someone like Herr Bachler to spin those planks.