The Ring Cycle
I’m really in the thick of it now. School is going full force and I’ve got many things I should be doing instead of blogging, but I need a little break. So here we are, talking a little music talk. Because that’s all I have for you right now.
This weekend I did a little extra credit by watching Der Ring des Nibelungen or the Ring Cycle, with some of my classmates and peers. We showed up at our professors house around noon on Saturday, and luckily we had already watched Die Walkure for class.
For those who are not familiar with The Ring Cycle, this is the largest opera. It’s like completing a marathon for opera watchers/performers. Usually when it’s performed, the four operas are presented on four consecutive nights. We were going to do three of the four in one day. Each opera is about four hours long with very few breaks. Most of the time the melodies are not particularly memorable, and sometimes the characters sing about the same thing for thirty minuets, just to make sure you understand how they feel. Many people enjoy picking out all of the things Tolkien borrowed for The Lord of the Rings, but the plot/characters are not nearly as accessible or interesting. That is unless you really relate with incestuous relationships.
So why would I submit myself to this? I felt like it was a right of passage. Every music student should have to suffer through the Ring Cycle at some point (Did I say suffer? I didn’t mean that). Often times people describe it as a bonding experience. I figured it may be the last opportunity I had to do this as a student.
It’s not that I hate Wagner. No, I know he has contributed a lot towards the traditions of performance today. The Bayreuth is close to how our concert halls are built now (just a little more uncomfortable), and the lights dim at show time because of him. But Listening to that much un-melodic opera would be hard for any brain. It’s okay, you can just trust me on that one.