Bregenz Festival: The Ring in 90 minutes

Greed, power, servitude, love, deceit, murder, betrayal, downfall – Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung brings all the passions and calamities of human life onto the stage. The Dutch theatre collective Hotel Modern transforms Wagner’s gigantic work into a fascinating piece of miniature theatre set in the world of insects. The story that spans four evenings in the original is here told compactly in 90 minutes, while Wagner’s colossal score is played by 21 instrumentalists of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. In Wagner, the Nibelung Alberich can change shape using the “tarnhelm”, and many insects do that too in this version: the caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly, the nymph into a grasshopper. Whereas three Rhine Maidens guard the gold in Wagner, Hotel Modern have three jellyfish guarding an already forged ring.

All the marionettes, puppets and landscapes for the production have been created with great love of detail by Hotel Modern. These actors and backdrops will be filmed live and projected on a magnified scale during the performance. A highly unusual piece of music theatre.

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