The eve of the stage festival The Ring of the Nibelung in four pictures
Poetry by the composer
sung in German
When, at the beginning of the Ring des Nibelungen, the floods of the Rhine arise from a single note, it resonates as if the world follows an unshakable and elemental order. But only a few minutes later, Wagner locates in it a momentous fall from grace: the cursing of love and the theft of gold by Alberich. Even above the water, the world is not free of crises: an unaffordable and prestigious building, dubious contracts, business partners in debt and women regarded as equity suitable for seizure – the entire mythical staff with Wotan at the top are caught up in questionable family and business relationships. And each of them becomes even more deeply entangled with every step of the plot and every new musical motif. When Wagner set about composing his Ring tetralogy, he had nothing less in mind than to criticize human socialization. And by daringly recycling old myths, he unfolded a wide-ranging story of the world's creation and fall – to be performed and watched by later generations free of any economic restraints. The question, if these days we can regard ourselves as these people has to be answered still. In any case, the Stuttgart State Opera has once again accepted Wagner's offer to interpret the deep structures of social relationships in a variety of ways. In his production, Stephan Kimmig exposes the colportage-like and clownish features of the hunt for the Ring. In a panic-driven attempt to save their own advantage, the antagonists repeatedly trick and double-cross each other – with flimsy ploys and dizzying twists. A spooky variety show, a nightmare or the real world? And where exactly is the difference? However, the primordial mother Erda’s admonition that the path taken leads to destruction could this time lead to everyone's awakening. Then, despite this beginning, perhaps no end would be necessary.