There have been innumerable cases of Ring fever far more severe than mine. According to his obituary, my old pal Sherwin Sloan took in Wagner's four-part Nibelung epic 90 times between 1975 and his death in 2010. Even so, I have been thinking about the cycle for longer than the quarter century it took Richard Wagner to write it. The list of Ring productions I have witnessed in the theater ranges from Achim Freyer's to Francesca Zambello's. Adding video, my tally comes to at least a dozen (some seen more than once), plus segments of at least five more. I cannot even guess how many more interpretations of the work I know from audio recordings alone.
I have written about the Ring on many occasions, but there is always more to say, if not always a suitable context in which to say it. And so, as my early contribution to the impending bicentennial of Wagner's birth in 2013, I have decided to send out one thought a day on Twitter throughout 2012. Please join me @Ring366. (It's leap year, recall.)
Occasional entries will link to illustrative materials or catalogue references, but most will not. While I have no quarrel with those for whom the tweet merely supersedes the telegram, I like to think of it as its own art form in little, aspiring to the condition of aphorism, akin to the sonnet or haiku. The overarching intention is allusive rather than rigorous, kaleidoscopic rather than encyclopedic. We'll begin at the beginning (think E-flat major), but then we'll hop around.
Here's entry #1. "Nymphs spurn satyr, apocalypse ensues. Morph Afternoon of a Faun into Dawn of a Troll, and what do you get? Das Rheingold, Scene 1." Alas, the Twitter feed has your for you, and because of a technical glitch, the same text was posted twice. Nobody's perfect.