Before today, I’d never seen a Wagner opera before. I’ve heard the music and singing, naturally, but never sat and watched one in its entirety. Now, having seen my first one I can safely say, I’ll never see another one.
My Wagnerian virginity was broken by the New York Met production of Tristan und Isolde not really live from new York.
Before going any further I just want to say something about the stupidity of the Farnham Maltings (and the Met) in their attitude to photography and social media.
When I’ve been in the audience for live performances, the audience is encouraged to Tweet or Facebook or respond using whatever social media site you want. After all it’s all good advertising and, for them, it’s free. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it. So why, I ask, am I not allowed to take photographs of the cast being interviewed during the intervals?
I mean it’s not during a performance and there’s no point in using a flash so I’m not sure why it should be a problem. It really feels to me like they want as much free advertising and public approbation as possible while not giving anything back. It’s not like the photos would be any good: I only ever want them for my blog in order to report on whatever I’ve seen.
But they don’t want me to so I’ll respect this nonsense and also refuse to advertise for them. No more Tweets, no more Facebook status reports including them. All’s fair, after all. And, naturally, I’ll tell everyone I know to do the same thing.
Anyway, they had nothing to do with my lack of pleasure at watching the opera. For that I blame Wagner. Completely. The guy didn’t have a red pen.
FIVE HOURS! That’s how long it was. That’s a long time to sit and watch anything but this was just sublimely dull.
Okay, the singing was obviously beautiful and the music lovely but it just went on for too long. There was a lot of totally unnecessary stuff that I found just a bit annoying. Add to that the almost complete lack of colour and it starts getting awfully dull. Apart from a dark red dress worn by Isolde for a bit, the rest was almost all black and grey…that’s the costumes and the set.
And something else that I found really, really annoying. In the final act a lot of the singers pronounced the letter ‘T’ with an annoying plosive that became far more overpowering than the songs. Is this a thing with Wagner? If so, it’s a right pain. If not then why the hell were they doing it?
Over all I can only say that while I really do love opera, I can’t say I’m very keen on Wagner.
Mirinda pretty much agrees with me on this. She was waiting outside for me for around 40 minutes wondering when the “damn thing” was going to finish. Her last text read
Phone almost flat. I’m going home. Find your own way.