Music of the Week — October 8, 2006
Sunday Night Journal — October 15, 2006

Pop Culture vs. Wagner

It's tough when you decide the time has come to get seriously acquainted with Wagner's Ring and you start getting the DVDs from NetFlix (because the VHS versions in your local library are damaged), and the whole thing takes a nose dive halfway through because you can't stop noticing that Siegfried looks and acts an awful lot like Dudley Do-right.

The attempt to take it seriously was given up for lost when Siegfried was walking around staring up into the trees, trying to figure out where the bird song (aka flute) was coming from, and my wife called out "Look in the orchestra pit!"

Note to opera fans: it's Manfred Jung, in the Boulez-conducted version on Deutsche Grammophon from the early '80s. I just looked it up on Amazon to verify the date, and found this title on a customer review: "I wish Mime had been successful at killing Siegfried." So maybe it's not just me.



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