Silly Rings: Seen the one in the school playground?

Silly Rings: Seen the one in the school playground?


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2021

This is Stuttgart’s new production by director Stephan Kimmig.

The Rhinemaidens are rich kids at an expensive public school.

Just as Wagner intended.


  • Nick2 says:

    Another silly childish production by clearly a silly childish director!

  • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    The centennial Boulez/Chéreau production from Bayreuth – easily found on YouTube – is looking better and better. I can’t say that I’m excited to see the forthcoming ENO/Met Ring; as for this one: no thanks.

    • Alviano says:

      You know, the Boulez/Chéreau Ring was loudly booed at its premiere. And those people had actually seen it, something you can’t claim about the new Stuttgart Ring

      • operacentric says:

        True but booing is sometimes intended and expected these days as a measure of just how controversial the director has been!

      • John Borstlap says:

        There was, however, quite some reason to boo the B/C Ring, especially the conducting which was often very hurried and did not leave the singers enough space.

    • operacentric says:

      I was at that 1976 Ring. As another comments, there were loud boos (and loud cheers). I had gone to Bayreuth to see the stylistic lighting and stagings and was horrified when the curtain went up on a hydro-electric power station with prostitutes clambering around it. The difference between some of the subsequent trash productions is that Chereau was a terrific director – his personregie was wonderful. Some moments will stay with me forever – Kollo’s convincing teenage Siegfried, Wotan’s slaying of his son, Siegmund as he then clasped him to his chest in anguish. I was disappointed to see no fire and never took to Jones’ random amazing laser-like and, more often, slow wind up to wobbled top notes. I revisited Bayreuth for the new Castorf production in 2013. Some good ideas again but crippled by his inability to match what we were seeing with what we were hearing or the text the singers were delivering. A flaw of so many so-called directors coming to opera.

    • Bet says:

      OMG, Chéreau had a total fetish for smoke machines.

      Every damn scene had to have smoke in it.

      I googled it, guess what, smoke machines were invented in the 1970s. One could experience it either by going to the discos or to Bayreuth.

  • Paul Barte says:

    This is on my agenda for 12/19…

  • Bet says:

    The Rheinmaidens were the original Heathers.

    And Alberich, the original Incel.

    Yeah, high school perfectly captures Wagner’s original intent.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    For the people who hated Wagner’s politics his music has sure been used extensively to promote their own political opinions!!

  • M McAlpine says:

    Thanks for this. I will certainly give this nonsense a wide berth!

  • Stephen Gould says:

    An oldie of mine:

    The hiring of a new Ring director

    “Und jetzt, so tell me, please, your ideas for Rheingold.”

    “Well, we start off underwater with the Rhinemaidens, who are like mermaids.”

    “I am not understanding, please, what is ‘mermaid’ ?”

    “Seejungfrau. On comes Alberich, a dwarf.”

    “Und, please, what is ‘dwarf’ ”

    “A short person, like Gimli in Lord of the Rings”.

    “But this is Der Ring, not Lord of Rings. Why is Gimli here ?”

    “No, he’s not. Alberich is the dwarf, and he comes out of a volcanic vent and sees the Rhinemaidens”

    “Still underwater ?”


    “I’m sorry, I’m not understanding. You have mermaids and a ‘dwarf’ and this all under water. Mein gott, this is too difficult and bizarre for our audience. NEXT”


    “So tell me, please, your ideas for Rheingold.”

    “I see the characters as clowns in a circus.”

    “You start tomorrow, yes ?”