Oh no, you say, not more bloody Wagner. And not that one with all the umlauts which most fail to acknowledge. Twilight of the Gods? Isn’t that what Europe is presently experiencing?
I sympathise. Honestly. Think of me not as John The Baptist to the Bayreuth Tyrant. But as John further down the road, post Salome, headless, wandering round like a chicken. I am not here to proselytise. My wheelbarrow is full of horse manure with which you may – if you wish – encrust your musical garden. And think on these things:
● The high definition transmission from the NY Met to our local theatre started at 17.00 GMT. It ended at 23.09.
● I was – am – ill with a malady which, in my gloomier moments, I see eventually carrying me off to my personal Gőtterdämmerung.
● The theatre car-park was full and I had to park near the soccer stadium. Oh-hoy, went the crowd, a bit like Siegfried.
● The TV broadcast is sponsored by Bloomberg so there were commercials.
● A plump blonde with immaculate teeth suggested I might like to make a charitable donation to the opera company in the richest city in the world.
Neither Mrs LdP nor I anticipate Wagner as we do Richard Strauss. It is an act of faith. And whereas Mrs LdP can handle trolls, giants and dragons I can’t. Happily the music absorbs these misgivings and our concerns become familiar: love, power, greed, jealousy, moral weakness. Siegfried is a pain-in-the-ass hooligan and must die. But it helps if you make him innocent, even playful. Debra Voigt (Brűnnhilde) sings endlessly, glowing, a reminder that love is more than sentimentality or mere desire. And Wagner’s loud enough to cough in without disturbing others.