Gergiev’s Ring is barely half sold

Gergiev’s Ring is barely half sold


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2014

They have begin deep discounting today on tickets for a Mariinsky Ring cycle, opening in Birmingham next week. Around half the seats are still unsold.

There have been local complaints that prices are far too high – £75 to £200 a seat – and there is growing unease about Valery Gergiev’s involvement with the occupationist Putin regime. The Mariinsky tour is sponsored by BP, presumably to protect its Russian interests.

Discounts here.

birmingham ring


  • Neil McGowan says:

    Frankly I would have thought the poor reviews for this production play the largest role in slack sales. There is not even a stage-director named… apparently VG and the scenery designer threw this tosh together themselves?

    I saw it when it was ‘new’, and brought on tour to Moscow. Rheingold was very weak. But Valkyrie was such witless bunkum that I gave my Siegfried & Goetterdaemerung tickets to friends who wanted them – I couldn’t stand it any longer.

    Anyone who can stage the final Farewell and Fire-Music scene of Valkyrie so that nobody moves for 45 minutes has no business staging Wagner’s music at all. Bezebenkov was pudgy and awkward, with a ‘character’ voice – fine as Alberich, but unfortunately he was playing Wotan. When Wotan not only doesn’t hug his daughter before placing her in the Eternal Fire… but stomps off in the other direction like a desperate smoker in search of a tobacconist’s, you realise that this production hasn’t had even 10 minutes of thought.

    This Valhalla deserves to be submerged beneath the waves of the Rhine in all reality, and never again be put before a paying public.

    I also saw the project’s precursor – a worthless Valkyrie which was staged by a German lighting-designer, who had never staged an opera in his entire life. At one point a sequence of fat Valkyries were queueing up to jump off a conference table. Thankfully even Gergiev realised this utter dreck had to be dumped, and he sought fresh hopeless collaborators to stage his ‘own conception’.

    But a nice try at trying to blame Putin, Norman. Chapeau!

    • Simon S. says:

      “This Valhalla deserves to be submerged beneath the waves of the Rhine in all reality” – German environment protection authorities might have some objections. 😀

  • Bob Thomas says:

    Based on the picture accompanying this article, this appears to be the production I saw and reviewed when it was in Orange County (California) in 2006. What was most indelible then was Gergiev’s work with his Kirov Orchestra, which was for the most part, extremely powerful. The singers (all from within the company) were usually strong. The problem from my perspective was the physical production. Here’s what I wrote: “The physical sets were always interesting and occasionally compelling. However, here was also a major problem: what did they mean? Much was made by the company and set designer George Tsypin about how this was a production that drew its inspiration from Russian, Alan and Scythian cultures — the very ones in which Gergiev and Tsypin grew up. But for those not steeped in their lore, it would have been helpful to have something written in the program (or ahead of time) that explained what some of the symbolism meant.”

    As appears to be the case with Birmingham, the prices were too high in OC, as well.

  • Michael Endres says:

    There are 16 operas by Rimsky Korsakov alone ..or 9 by Weinberg…. why on earth don’t they bring on some more unheard repertoire like that instead of another bl…y Ring ?

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Thank you very much for letting us know. Nice to see Slipped Disc report again negative news about ticket sales at opera houses. This wasn’t the case during days of the MET’s labor talks.

  • David K says:

    Too right. Who wants to go to bad production, poorly sung, not rehearsed properly, and conducted by someone who is a personal friend of Putin. This is a conductor who will not support LGBT rights, who gave a “victory” concert in Georgia, and whose cultural imperialism is breathtaking. I have one thing to say. Go back to Russia, and stay there where you belong. To western governments, why is this man allowed to work in the west, why does he have a work visa? Should he not be on the travel ban list?

    • Neil McGowan says:

      who gave a “victory” concert in Georgia

      Errr, no he didn’t.

      He gave a fund-raising concert in Ossetia for all of those who had been made homeless by Georgian bombing of civilian settlements, coordinated and funded by the United States.

      Valery Gergiev is Ossetian himself, so he had especial cause to want to help his own people after they’d been attacked.

      Incidentally, the European Union investigation into this appalling attack on unarmed civilians concluded that Georgia had been the aggressor. The Georgian “President” at the time – an American passport-holder named Saakashvili – is now facing War Crimes charges in Georgia, from his own people. He has fled the country, and is now a fugitive from justice in the United States, along with his Netherlands-born wife.

      You really ought to read your Talking Points over more carefully before you post them. Or your paymasters might stop your fees for posting.

    • Neil McGowan says:

      Talking of support for LGBT rights… do you remember the way that Georgia held an LGBT Pride Rally (during the reign of your US-backed “President” Suckass-vili) in Tbilisi?

      Take a look? See how LGBT rights are “supported” in Georgia!!

      Note the priests throwing stones at the gay marchers – and the police handing more stones to the priests.

  • SVM says:

    What about the occupationist Obama régime?

  • Milka says:

    Rattle the cage …and out come the Putin barking dogs, never
    fails ….SVM and Neil the travel agent.
    So predictable..knee jerk response.

    • Neil McGowan says:

      One day you’ll post something on-topic, Oleksandra… oooops, I mean Milker!

      Meantime, stick to your usual catechism of ad-hominem piffle – all you can manage.

  • Harald Braun says:

    Musically is is,judging on the first two operas,great.Stage wise,it is a relief from the lousy German Regietheater “Konzept”nonsense no one wants to see anymore!

    • Anonymus says:

      Going with that line of thought, no one wants to see opera anyway… but X-Factor is very popular I heard. Where do you draw the line for populism dictating all aspects of cultural life?

  • Milka says:

    As I wrote — rattle the cage and the putin dogs come out barking and
    attempting to be clever, putin counts on the muzhik , home grown or imported.