Monday, 25 July 2011

Frank Castorf to direct 2013 Bayreuth 'Ring'?


It seems still to be a matter of rumour, but here (click) is a report in the Hamburger Abendblatt. Castorf is Intendant at Berlin's Volksbühne. I have not seen any of his productions, and should be very interested to hear from those who have, but from what I have gleaned concerning his politico-æsthetic stance - a 1990 post-GDR Die Räuber onwards - and his rejection of linear narrative, it sounds as though he may turn out to be an interesting choice. Stefan Herheim should still have been asked though...

(Click here for the results of the readers' poll on who should direct the 2013 Ring.)

6 comments:

Caitlin said...

I am really excited about the possibility of Castorf as the Ring 2013 director. I saw his production of Medea at the Volksbühne a year and a half ago: http://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/en/medea/
He's a significant proponent of post-dramatic theatre, if that's any indication of his work for you. I would imagine that his would be a production that takes an external look at the Ring. It'll definitely be Regietheatre, but (hopefully) an excellent example of what regie can achieve. The fact that the Leipzig opera is involved in the 2013 season (and therefore, Peter Konwitschny, unless I missed a change in leadership), is also a good indicator of what kind Wagner we will be seeing at the 2013 Bayreuth season. I sent in for an application for tickets a month ago in hopes of /maybe/ scoring one or two before the end of the 5-year run of the 2013 Ring! (I'm not feeling too good about my odds...)

curzon said...

I don't wish to be negative before the production has even started but I think Castorf is a disastrous choice. Nothing in his work leads me to think he would be good choice for a Ring director. Why not a director who has proven ability in bringing a complicated narrative clearly to the stage without burdening it with irrelevant baggage? Several spring to mind. Also I agree that Herheim would be a fantastic choice provided it was closer to his Parsifal than his Berlin Lohengrin! Unfortunately he has, by all accounts fallen out with Katherina (probably because his ability point up the emptiness of her directorial talent!)

Mark Berry said...

Well, as I said, I really do not have anything much to go on, just a (relatively) few reports I have read of his work. It is interesting therefore to have two such very different views of what might transpire. My point, which I doubtless should have elucidated, about non-linear narrative, was that it might suit the 'Ring' rather well. Think of the alternative/complementary openings, both in a sense redramatisations of the Fall: that to 'Das Rheingold', featuring Alberich, and then, much later, the Norns' Scene, in which we learn of Wotan's original sin. The great epic narrative passages - Wotan's monologue, the riddle scene between the Wanderer and Mime, Siegfried before he dies etc. - all play with time, making past events live once more, and live more richly in the knowledge of what we have learned in the meantime. And they accomplish that more through musical than verbal means. A crucial factor, I am sure, in the success of many productions by Herheim and Konwitschny is that they are musicians.


I disagree about the 'Lohengrin' though, which I thought a very fine production: such a happy contrast with the dusty revival we last experienced at Covent Garden.

SorrowfulYoungW said...

Just to point out that based on his approach, there is no way Stefan Herheim could get a Ring up in two years. When he finally does one, I want it to be his masterwork, not some scabbed-together collection of Herheim cliches. I don't know Castorp's work except the very ugly-but-intruiging Berlin Alexanderplatz which saw years ago in the Volksbuhne, but the point is that time is of the essence, so if he thinks he can do it, its better than getting some other movie director who will blow his budget on 'visual projections' and make the singers just stand there and sing, preferably not blocking the projections!

Bayreauth have shot themselves in the foot by leaving this too long - they will not get a good Ring from anyone with only two years prep (IMO).

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be pessimistic before the show but Bayreuth has not only a problem with the directors (Tannhaüser or Lohengrin this year) but with the choice of the singers and conductors. I've heard in Lyon The Tristan directed by Petrenko and I'm afraid of "his" Ring in 2013...
Paul

Anthony Spooner said...

I'm terrified at the prospect!