February 24th, 2014


Fulham Rheingold...

Had a hell of a time getting there, although it isn''t far. I couldn't find the fecking 295 bus stop. It's a route I never use, and it was too dark to read the map of Clapham Junction stops. Eventually, I managed, and it was a creeping journey in terrible traffic. When I got to Fulham Broadway, it wasn't as easy to find the church as I'd expected,though it really was close- and after several detours and misdirections (thankthe  gods I can walk a bit better these days-) I arrived just after seven, so no problem, apart from being frazzled.
The show really was a great experience. Of course, I really felt the lack of an orchestra, especially early on. but you soon got so into the action that it was tolerable.. I'm glad to say 'anvils' were provided, but other than that, there was just one heroic bloke on the piano (hence the unusual insertion of an interval, I suppose, so that his arms didn't fall off...) The singing was top notch, throughout, and was thrilling to have these big, beautiful voices so up close and personal. I was swooning. 'Staging' was pretty minimal, but quite creative. Alberich's transformations were effective and amusing.. The only real problem I had was that you couldn't see the singers performing in the aisle without some major 'Exorcist' head rotation.
The cast seemed totally committed, emotionally, and what could have been a joke production was completely involving.
I particularly liked Oliver Gibbs' not entirely unsympathetic Alberich, and the lock-stepping, baseball bat-wielding giants were a huge hit with everyone, especially Oliver Hunt's rather poignant Fasolt.There was a lush Erda from Jemma Brown. Stephen Svanholm really made the most of Donner's storm-summoning, and Ian Massa-Harris was an excellent Mime;( I'd like to see what he does in SIEGFRIED). These were my particular favourites, but everyone in the cast was just totally bloody good.
I honestly don't know if I could cope with the two super-long RING operas, but going by this RHEINGOLD, I probably could, although I might need to resort to one of the cushions that were available.
The remaining performances are probably sold out,anyway, and prohibitively pricey (£30) for us impecunious types, but if there's any chance at all of getting to any of them, I'd highly recommend it.

Fafner and Fasolt fall out, to Loge's amusement...
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