Director Stephen Langridge and designer Alison Chitty’s new production of Siegfried for Gothenburg Opera will be premiered online on the weekend of 26-28 March. One act per day will be published on GoStream, and will be free to watch and available to view until midnight on 31 March 2021.
Recorded in Gothenburg in December 2020, Siegfried is the third instalment in Langridge and Chitty’s Ring Cycle, which began in 2018 and which reaches its climax later this year.
Langridge and Chitty's interpretation highlights sustainability within the Ring’s plot, emphasising how violating the laws of nature leads to the worlds destruction, further supported by Chitty's environmentally sustainable set and costumes. Das Rheingold (2018) and Die Walküre (2019) both received outstanding reviews, for Chitty’s “tidy refinement” in the second-hand costumes and “sleek and functional” sets of recycled wood, and Langridge’s “gift for revealing the beating human heart in the most grandiose of works”, “beautiful” and “moving” imagery, and his “magnificently inventive” staging.
Press quotes from Siegfried include:
"Gothenburg’s shining Siegfried gloriously surmounts the challenges of producing opera in a pandemic...The result is impressive in its continuity with the two previous parts Das Rheingold and Die Walküre...Chitty's set design with moveable walls of recycled wood is cleverly used and lit atmospherically [and] projections of still pictures or short scenes from the earlier parts of the Ring complement the narration and memories of the characters." - Seen and Heard International
"The team of Stephen Langridge, Alison Chitty and Paul Pyant produced a quietly radical Parsifal at the Royal Opera in 2013, finding both beauty and horror in unexpected corners. Their Ring in Gothenburg pursues a no less subtle course of rebellion against some tenaciously held conventions and traditions in staging Wagner...Some small touches make big effects in an opera of one-to-one dialogues and down-to-earth settings. Brünnhilde’s grey wig illustrates more succinctly than reams of backstory exegesis that promises of eternal youth mean as little in the Ring as they do in a face-cream advert. In Fafner’s bedraggled locks and dirty council-worker tabard is captured the modern image of the miser and loner, inspiring a pity worthy of his dying words...Siegfried is only a heedless bully if he is made to look and sound like one; Brenna, Langridge and Rogister between them present a much deeper portrait of this very modern anti-hero." - Arts Desk ****
"In this Siegfried, the predatory drive on nature has left behind a single large scrap yard, where the dragon Fafner incubates the treasure with the magic ring...In the filmed stream version, which here replaces the production missed in November, one gets advantageously close to the worst hero Siegfried and his dysfunctional family situation" - SVT Nyheter
"Göteborg Opera's gleaming new Siegfried, pandemic style...Former artistic director Stephen Langridge accommodated pandemic constraints... a silver lining to the extreme conditions still limiting the performing arts...Alison Chitty’s minimalist stage designs are symbolically evocative throughout" - Bachtrack
"Director Stephen Langridge's emphasis on environmental destruction is clear and contemporary…The idea of sustainability is repeated in scenography and costumes, where Alison Chitty used used, recyclable material; granite gray fittings and debris aesthetics break the blazing fire of the projections." - SVD Kultur
"Something new is born in the stripped-down and repetitive, in the necessary distances between the singers…Much can be recognized from the previous sets of “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walküre”…In the middle act of “Siegfried”, which takes place near the dragon Fafner's cave, the furniture from “Walküre” has become a junkyard with old stoves, elements, cardboard boxes, broken cars, discarded TVs, piles of car tires. It is sunny and sad, a world of remnants. But in the ugliness there is at the same time something uplifting" - Göteborgs-Posten
"Director Stephen Langridge has toned down the mythological in The Ring. Giants, nibelungs, gods, demigods all become humans like you and me…Alison Chitty's realistic rubbish scenography fits the concept nicely where suddenly single luminous door frames mark a change for the Wanderer" - Kulturnytt
Siegfried continues Alison Chitty and Stephen Langridge’s successful collaboration, with previous highlights including Wagner's Parsifal and Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur, both at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Handel's Theodora at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Previously Artistic Director of Gothenburg Opera, Stephen Langridge is now the Artistic Director at Glyndebourne. Alison Chitty OBE has designed numerous opera productions in the UK and worldwide, and was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 2009 by the Royal Society of Arts and received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of the Arts London in 2013.
To watch Siegfried, click here.