Magazine article Opera Canada

Die Walkure: Clifton Forbis (Siegmund) and Adrianne Pieczonka (Sieglinde) in the Canadian Opera Company Production

Magazine article Opera Canada

Die Walkure: Clifton Forbis (Siegmund) and Adrianne Pieczonka (Sieglinde) in the Canadian Opera Company Production

Article excerpt

Herman Geiger-Torel had hoped to cap his career as the Canadian Opera Company's first general director by mounting Richard Wagner's Ring cycle in Toronto back in the 1970s, but with Das Rheingold left unproduced, it remained for his successor's successor's successor to revisit the challenge of producing Canada's first Ring on the imperfectly accommodating Humming-bird Centre stage.

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Not that the full cycle will be produced there. The aim is to put together the sequentially produced four parts in the fall of 2006 (in three cycles), when Toronto's new opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, throws open its glass doors. Meanwhile, congratulations have already poured into Hunding's hut for the $11-million production's first installment, Die Walkure rather than Das Rheingold, which--thanks to the imaginative design concept of Michael Levine--actually dispensed with the traditional hut and shattered the traditional ash tree in the course of framing the action in a symbolic, lamp-studded unit set of tangled scaffolding and ladders.

Levine has been engaged not only to design all four parts of the Ring but to direct one of them (his first such assignment), Das Rheingold. To direct Die Walkure, COC General Director Richard Bradshaw engaged the acclaimed Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan, who treated Wagner's characters, gods and mortals alike, as personages in a human drama. …

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