Ross on Rheingold

The first reviews of the new MET Ring cycle are starting to trickle in. New Yorker critic and music blogger Alex Ross recently published his thoughts on “Rheingold” (“The Depths,” in the 10/18 issue) and the verdict is mixed. The big winner of this new production? Alberich. There’s a lot more to this bitter troll than is portrayed in the typical cycle, which tends to characterize the Niebelung as monstrous, buffoonish, or both. (Ross’s mainly positive review is a relief after seeing portions of LA Opera’s bloated, ill-conceived Ring over the summer. The Alberich in that production wore a massive mask that made him virtually impossible to empathize with. The whole affair was deeply alienating. Glad to learn that there’s still subtlety, grace, and deep psychological characterization left out there in Ring-land, though not here in Los Angeles.)

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