Berlin books open-ended new Ring

The Deutsche Oper has announced plans to pack away Götz Friedrich’s claustrophobic Ring cycle, dating from 1984, and replace it with a new vision by the Norwegian Stefan Herheim, opening in 2020.

The Friedrich Ring was memorably set in a tunnel, a metaphor for Cold War tensions and terrors in the divided city.

friedrich tunnel ring

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  • I saw the entire Friedrich cycle once in the early 2000s, when it was already 20 years old. And it was really thrilling. The Staatsoper could never beat it, despite producing two or three cycles in the same time.

    I very much doubt the new Herheim cycle will ever come close to this.

  • The tunnel was inspired by Washington, DC’s metro. I saw the production when Deutsche Oper brought in to DC in 1989, as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Bundesrepublik. The cast featured Peter Hoffman, Ute Vinzing, Rene Kollo, Robert Hale, Simon Estes, and Matti Salminen. It got me hooked – maybe it was the Valkyries on motorcycles.

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