It gets to the point where all the leitmotifs get kind of stitched together, like a garish patchwork quilt, and to the untrained ear, like mine, they just sound like any repeated theme in music rather than being all loaded with meaning or something.Since this is my first experience with , I don't really have anything to compare the singers to, but they ranged from excellent to good, to my ears.I was waiting for them to ask Alberich why he was so serious.Having body doubles hung upside down beneath them made for an interesting reflection effect, but it also brought to mind the whole Black Dahlia torso thing.In fact, the whole thing looked remarkably similar to the , which I have to put down to a lack of creativity, because the two operas have little in common apart from being written in the 19th century and both kind of involving metaphorical deals with the Devil (and in , by metaphorical I mean "Get your coat.") Both productions were predominantly done in a black, white, and red color scheme, both had over-sized papier-mâché heads, pimp coats, and creepy red gash mouths, and both, bafflingly, had dog things as representations of evil, though instead of an Evil Black Standard Poodle of Death, had an emaciated Dalmatian in a red top hat of Death.Therein lies another problem with Freyer: If it wasn’t for fake-profundity, Achim Freyer wouldn’t have no profundity at all. Why does Wotan wear a pimp coat covered in keys that looks like the Wizard of Swinging’s robe?Vitalij Kowaljow as Wotan didn't seemed to have the vocal immensity or dark voice that I would associate with the role, but he was also singing from inside a giant pimp coat half the time, so that could be why.Michelle de Young's Fricke sounded lovely, but was immobilized by her costume and was often represented on stage by a body double in a costume seemingly inspired by Terry Jones's "Oh, tell me where that fish did go" character, with light-up hands left over from an Electric Six video.
The Ring Cycle is supposedly one of the most complex pieces of art ever created, so I can't help but think that Freyer's childish, school-art-project, Michel-Gondry-with-less-talent approach is a little... The billowing red mist and Rhine River were pretty, and the way the stage opened up to reveal Nibelheim was effective, but other effects were silly and ramshackle.The most interesting character, in my opinion, was Arnold Bezuyen's Loge, whose voice had the ring of a tenor's but with a more baritonal tinge that kept it listenable to my tenor-tolerating ears.Loge was the only one who could move around the stage with any kind of ease and who didn't have a mask on, which probably helped characterization matters.Loge is basically a made-up German name for the trickster god Loki, and Bezuyen was every bit the trickster -- it was clear how much enjoyment Loge was getting out of screwing with everyone. First of all, it seems that Freyer has discovered re-SIGH-cling? Burns voice], because Loge's costume was exactly the same as Méphistophélès's in his 2003 production of , right down to the red Converse, Puddy-takes-Elaine-to-a-New-Jersey-Devils-game makeup, and Wolverine meets the Heat Miser hairstyle.The only difference was that Loge had a few extra arms, so is Freyer trying to tell us that Loge is the Devil, just with extra hands (they're very good hands), or is he just being a cheap asshole by re-using the costume and should therefore expect the shittiest portion?