Brogli-Sacher’s sensitive and broadly mainstream conducting of the music ticks all the right dramatic boxes. I enjoyed the brilliant score coming up so fresh.
But it was Brogli-Sacher’s »Walküre« that brought together musical and theatrical objectives most successfully and honoured the nature of Wagner’s work most convincingly. Brogli-Sacher is a good and serious accompanist.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Ring Thing
Germany marks Wagner’s bicentenary with a wealth of opera
If Richard Wagner were alive today, he’d be turning 200 on May 22. From Düsseldorf to Dresden, Munich to Mannheim, this bicentennial season provides a rare chance to sample the wide variety of theatrical approaches his native Germany takes to one o_ ts most in_uential and problematic artists. With his 10 mature operas, including the four-opera Ring cycle, Wagner changed the course of theatrical history, enlarging the orchestra and developing the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk —an ideal synthesis of all the arts. His in_uence reaches far beyond the realm of opera, casting a spell on artists and writers as well as composers. Because of Wagner’s anti-Semitism and popularity with Hitler and the Nazis, performance of his music remains uno_cially banned in Israel to this day, and stagings of his works in Germany tend to be critical and deconstructive. There are more than 100 German Wagner productions to savor this season. Here’s our guide to _ve of the best. BERLIN At the Berlin Staatsoper, innovative Belgian director Guy Cassiers’s Ring cycle, begun two years ago, concludes with “Götterdammerung,” and the company will perform two full cycles in April. A co-production with Milan’s La Scala, this staging features sleek sets, otherworldly projections and inventive choreography. Daniel Barenboim, one of the leading Wagner interpreters, conducts an enviably starstudded cast. This will be the first complete cycle from Mr. Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle in more than a decade and is especially noteworthy for star bass René Pape’s Wotan. April 4-21 MUNICH Not to be outdone, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany’s largest house, will present Andreas Kriegenburg’s visionary Ring in July. This meticulous staging of the entire cycle, premiered last season, is both grandly epic and refreshingly contemporary. Mr. Kriegenburg uses minimal sets and a large troupe of extras to accentuate the vast dimensions of the stage. The result is installation art that provides a captivating illustration to Wagner’s score. Kent Nagano conducts a cast of Wagnerian A-listers, including Johan Reuter, Bryn Terfel, Katarina Dalayman, Stephen Gould and Nine Stemme. July 13-18 HAMBURG In Hamburg, the Hamburgische Staatsoper and chief conductor Simone Young will present a marathon run-through of all of Wagner’s 10 major operas. This threeweek Wagner odyssey is a great way to get to know the excellent Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, once led by Gustav Mahler. It is also something of a one-stop destination for those who want to experience a variety of production styles. Highlights include Robert Wilson’s striking production of “Parsifal,” Ruth Berghaus’s “Tristan und Isolde” and Claus Guth’s Ring. May 12-June 2 LÜBECK Roughly an hour from Hamburg is the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, where you can catch a gripping new production of “Parsifal,” Wagner’s _nal opera at the beautiful municipal theater. Director Anthony Pilavachi, who staged the company’s excellent Ring cycle (available on DVD), has interpreted Wagner’s religious allegory of purity and redemption as a _ashback in the mind of a dying man grasping for spiritual peace. April 4, May 5 LEIPZIG The city of the composer’s birth has been o_ering a healthy dose of Wagner all season, and will play host to the Richard Wagner Festival 2013, featuring a slew of operas, concerts and lectures in May. The main event is arguably Oper Leipzig’s new production of Wagner’s rarely heard _rst completed opera, “Die Feen” (“The Fairies”), in a new production by French director Renaud Doucet. The tuneful score may lack the sophistication of Wagner’s later works, but it shows the young composer’s desire to move away from operas with clearly de_ned arias and recitatives to a style that fuses drama and music. “Die Feen,” April 7, 20 and May 24. Richard Wagner Festival, May 16-26