Watched Robert Lepage’s 2010 staging of Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Met, with Levine conducting. I was interested particularly how “the machine” served the staging, and I am unconvinced, with singers sliding here and there, and guy ropes keeping others from sliding at all. It reminded me a bit of Edmonton winter sidewalks on a very cold stage, with the computer animations the lesser Northern Lights; and a very peculiarly striated rainbow bridge at the end of the opera. But the opera itself, that’s another thing altogether: it’s own complete world commenting on ours. And it remains right that Loge stays on earth and chooses not enter a compromised Valhalla.
Re-reading Deryck Cooke’s I Saw the World End, his incredible, but lamentably unfinished, study of The Ring, I find again his summary of the first scene of Rheingold: “It says that absolute world-power can be achieved by ravishing and exploiting the raw material of nature, but such an action is possible only for one who has expelled love from his being….”