When you extract the dull metal from the water and put it in the sun you are lost. It becomes gold that shines cursed and the avarice of that flash, not only destroys who pursues it. Also to the world. It may seem like a summary of the history of mankind. Of course. And that was the intention of Richard Wagner when creating his maximum work: the tetralogy of The Ring of the Nibelung. The great allegory of the universe and the species that populates it, that construction of destruction, explains how few things happen to us, has happened to us and will continue to happen to us. With The gold of the Rhine, the first part of the four that compose it, open in the Royal Theatre the stage director Robert Carsen and the musician Pablo Heras-Casado This prologue to an adventure of four consecutive years.
For Heras-Casado, "this is the greatest work of art ever conceived by a human being". He said it this Monday in the presentation of which from Thursday 17 and until February 3 will be on the bill, accompanied by Carsen, the set designer Patrick Kinmonth and the artistic director of the Real, Joan Matabosch.
It supposes the debut of the musician with the work in the pit. No director leaves unscathed from the crossing. The ring… transforms you. And Heras-Casado is aware of what it means since he saw it for the first time in 20 years Bayreuth Festival. "It is a challenge of epic dimensions: 110 musicians in the pit, but not only to increase the decibels, but to find all possible colors and sounds to support the psychological discourse of the characters and the work."
In a single delivery, the almost 20 hours are complex. Therefore, almost all theaters in the world ration The nibelung ring in four sessions during successive seasons. So it will be with this montage by Robert Carsen, which could also be seen in the Liceu Barcelona with Josep Pons in the pit. He now arrives in Madrid, always with the address of Pablo Heras-Casado, until its culmination in 2022. A The Gold of the Rhine they will follow The Valkyrie, Siegfried Y The sunset of the gods. The distribution of this prologue is headed by Greer Grimsley (Wotan), Samuel Youn (Alberich), Ain Anger (Fasolt), Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Fafner) or Joseph Kaiser (Loge) and Sarah Connolly (Fricka).
A prophetic piece that Carsen rode for the first time in the year 2000 and has traveled with his post-apocalyptic aesthetics and his environmental connection all over the world. In his vision, all the possible contemporary aspects of greed are mixed: from the industrial destruction of the planet to the real estate hits. "From the beginning, Wagner paints us a catastrophe. And through the work he describes how the struggle for power destroys the world, "says Carsen. But in addition, deep down, according to him, is also the vicissitude of a dysfunctional family.
From the gods to the slaves, from the exploiter to the exploited, everything slides towards the slope and has left behind its passage a polluted river, dying birds, a perpetual penumbra and evicted creatures. With another visionary change of pace for our time, according to Patrick Kinmonth: "It starts with a man and ends with a woman," he says. As an open cycle and hope for transformation of the world, in that conscious prophecy so appropriate to the 21st century.
The work strongly symbolizes the power of genius, the certainty of visionary art. All this pregnaes the Wagnerian tetralogy. "We can not know if he did it consciously. What does seem obvious is that it constantly warns us about what can happen to us if each one pursues his own. But, in addition to all that, he predicts the power of the subconscious in musical and dramaturgical elements before Freud, "says Carsen.
With the help, especially of Nietzsche and the theory of the eternal return but also of Schopenhauer and The world as will and representation, two of his great philosophical references to understand The Ring of the Nibelung.