'Das Rheingold' Glitters with Stellar Cast
Gowen, Bill, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Bill Gowen Daily Herald Classical Music Critic
- Where: Ardis Krainik Theatre, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago
- When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, Oct. 13, 21, 25, Nov. 3 and 6; 2 p.m. Oct. 17
- Tickets: Call for availability; for information on subscribers' turned-back tickets on day of performance, call (312) 332-2244, ext. 5600
Music drama in one act (four scenes) by Richard Wagner, with libretto by the composer. Herbert Kellner, stage director; John Conklin, set and costume designer; Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis
James Morris Wotan
Larissa Diadkova Fricka
Oleg Bryjak Alberich
Dennis Petersen Mime
Jill Grove Erda
Andrea Silvestrelli Fasolt
Raymond Aceto Fafner
With Mark Baker, Bonaventura Bottone, Lauren McNeese, James Rutherford, Stacey Tappan and Guang Yang
Composer Richard Wagner described "Das Rheingold," as the "preliminary evening" to his "Ring of the Nibelung" cycle, the four music dramas that comprise the largest single creation in the history of classical music.
"The Rhine Gold" (English translation), which opened at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Saturday, offers a kind of summing-up of this great mythological drama involving gods, giants, dwarves and humans. It succeeds in that fashion because Wagner created it after he finished the other three music dramas. The complete "Ring" cycle had its premiere at Bayreuth, Germany, in 1876.
By knowing where his story was headed, in this first 2 1/2- hour chapter he was able to set the stage for the drama to come by introducing many of the major characters and musical motives that were to recur throughout the full 15-plus hours of the cycle.
"Das Rheingold" is being presented alone this fall by the Lyric, as were "Die Walkure" and "Siegfried" the previous two seasons, in anticipation of next spring's three complete "Ring" cycles.
Even though it is the shortest of the four "Ring" dramas, "Das Rheingold" is the most difficult to stage because its single act has four scenes, which must move seamlessly among various locations on and below the earth's surface. …