my Wagner, if not theirs

I have put off entering an item about an extraordinary production of Richard Wagner's "The Rhinegold" [sic] two and a half weeks ago, by the EOS Orchestra, since I was waiting for the review which I asssumed would be coming from the NYTimes. The review never appeared, even though the paper had published the customary preview puff piece a week prior to the performances.

If we wish to see our experience as members of the audience confirmed it's necessary to go online, to reviews in Andante or Classics Today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have no familial relationship with the German songwriter, only a total adoration for his music. [Of at least a dozen uncles and 95 first cousins, not one was given the name, "Dick," so far as I can recall. Very odd.] I am extremely fond of the full-size Patrice Chereau Bayreuth peformance and I have several recordings of most of the operas in traditional form, but I was totally blown away by Johathan Sheffer's pocket production last month.

The performance was absolutely enchanting, immediate, dramatic, and gloriously musical, but ultimately its greatest virtue was probably the proof it offered that opera, even Wagner, can be made accessible and very sexy for any size audience, anywhere.

New York should insist that EOS bring the rest of "The Ring" to audiences which think the Met both too poor in its art and too rich in its fees, and we should be able to see the example of chamber Wagner followed elsewhere around the country.

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Published on June 11, 2002 3:33 PM.

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