* Notes *
The second Ring cycle the Met this season came to a rather disappointing conclusion with Götterdämmerung yesterday. Though there were many fine individual contributions to the piece, in the end both playing and staging fell short. Robert Lepage's production was not consistent with the earlier parts of the cycle. Why should Grane finally appear as a horse puppet (pictured above, photograph by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) in this opera, and not in Walküre or Siegfried? Why is it that the projections have Siegfried and Hagen walking on water? It just seemed a bit sloppy. The statues used to portray the Gods looked like they were stolen from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Even still, there were nicely rendered scenes, as with the prologue with its tree-like web.
The orchestra did not seem terribly concerned with Maestro Luisi, the musicians were not always together, and there was rushing, especially near the end. Singers were overwhelmed now and again. The harps did sound gorgeous during Act III. The chorus was cohesive.
Eric Owens had a sore throat, so Richard Paul Fink sang Alberich instead. Fink is secure in the role, and has the right mix of beauty and menace. Hans-Peter König sang a threatening Hagen. Wendy Bryn Harmer sang a pretty Gutrune.
Katarina Dalayman was fairly good as Brünnhilde, though her changes in volume were abrupt. Jay Hunter Morris was a strong Siegfried, sounding youthful and poignant, although he lacked baritonal warmth.
* Tattling *
The French-speakers in Family Circle Standing Room Places 25 and 26 talked a lot in Act I, and had to be hushed. They were preoccupied by taking Seats 202 and 204. It was odd that the male half of the couple seemed so worried about sitting, yet slept through most of Acts II and III. Both halves of this pair had not seemed to have bathed in some time, and their odor could be detected from several feet away.