After much self-debate, I'll be attending the Kirov Ring at the Metropolitan Opera this summer in July after all. I got tickets to this event this week thanks to the MET's choice of selling the remnants of what was not sold as subscriptions as individual tickets. Not the best tickets in the house, but all of them full view, and all of them in the orchestra section of the house. I was happy that there was something left over. I will be going to three quarters of the Ring (I decided to skip Siegfried).
I am not sure what this Ring is going to be like, but I can tell you that for me it does not photograph well. From the few pictures that have been published, I am not too thrilled by the visual aspect of this production, which based on Russian myths (so I have read), has a "Polivetsian Dances" feel to it, and a color scheme right out of Bollywood. For someone like me, who reveres Wieland Wagner and shares his directorial opinion that darkness is more apt for Richard Wagner than lights, this will be a very challenging production for me.
The real draw for me is the Ring itself, of course. We have not heard it in New York in a while, and experiencing it in a production other than what the MET currently offers is a rare event indeed. Also, the most important part will be experiencing what Valery Gergiev will do with this score. We have not heard this work in the hands of someone other than James Levine in years, and I think audiences need to hear what another conductor can do. Gergiev led an amazingly satisfying reading of Parsifal back in 2003, and next season New York audiences will be treated to Lorin Maazel return to the MET in Die Walküre.
It should be an exciting production this summer, and I will be blogging about each one.