Saturday, January 26, 2008

Prententious Prancing in Slow Motion

I was wondering if I had made a mistake buying a ticket for 'Die Walkuere' at Vilnius Opera and Ballet Theatre instead of going to the viola concerto concert at the Filharmonija. I had.

It was deadly! So deadly, I left after the first act. The instrumental music was nice, and the orchestra played nicely (though the horns portended what was to come - and it was not good); the singing might have been the right notes, but it was totally un-understandable (they sung in German, I speak German, but it would have been really hard work trying to understand them, especially since there are no arias which repeat words). I hear that the singer Benno Schollum has produced a book called 'German for singers' - I could think of a ready market for this....

The acting was execrable - because the action moves slowly, there's not a great deal to do for the singers, so they were busy filling time. Frankly, I had not realised until I read the plot afterwards, that the woman in the first act was the sister of Siegmund - it looked to me like she was desperate to bed him, especially doing all sorts of suggestive stuff with that big, long sword he was holding. ...And what was that about the oversize sofa, the stuffed lion on it, and the hand running along the back of the sofa? And why did she put the milk out for the cat? Filling time, that's all it was. Maybe in Wagner's day people were happy watching singers just standing around singing.....

It was quite nice, though, to rest your eyes to the music - though the seats are not that much made for sleeping.

Don't ask me about the rest of the opera, though.