Posted on 15/06/2012
Mark Berry in the orchestra pit of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus last year, just before a rehearsal of Parsifal.
As the bicentenary of the birth of Richard Wagner approaches, productions of his most celebrated cycle of operas, Ring, will be held around the world. Heralded as opera’s greatest composer, Wagner’s works attract a core audience of afictionados and continue to inspire new interpretations. Dr Mark Berry, a leading Wagner expert, will be discussing the different stagings of the Ring during a special event at the Royal Opera House on Monday (18 June).
The talk will be held for the Wagner Circle – a group of like-minded people interested in gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of Wagner - and will see Dr Berry discuss the different interpretations of the Ring, looking at the dramas and staging, with Kasper Holten, recently appointed Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House.
Dr Berry, from the Department of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: “We shall discuss the recent stagings we have reviewed, including recent Paris and Weimar, Germany, productions and Kasper Holten's own award-winning Copenhagen Ring, which was celebrated for its feminist angle. We shall also discuss more general aspects of the stage director's role: why does he not simply adhere to the text? How does he interrogate the text? How do words and music come together, and inform what we see on stage?”
Dr Berry will also draw on his research into the political and religious ideas expounded in Wagner's Ring.
Keith Warner's production of the third opera in Wagner's epic Ring cycle will be held this autumn. Dr Berry commented: “The Ring is receiving a multitude of stagings across the world next year, from Bayreuth, the Festival founded in 1876 by Wagner himself and still very much a Holy Grail for Wagnerians, to the Seattle Opera. The Royal Opera House is, perhaps wisely, given the finite number of Wagner singers, getting in early, with this revival of Keith Warner's production.”
The Royal Opera House will also stage a new production of Wagner's final drama, Parsifal, in 2013 - the anniversary year.
Dr Berry will be involved in a number of events during the bicentenary year. He will be speaking at a Wagner conference at the University of South Carolina in January 2013 and at the Ring Symposia at Seattle Opera in August 2013. Dr Berry is author ofTreacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner's 'Ring' For more information visit the publisher's website. Dr Berry also contributed to the Cambridge Wagner Encyclopaedia and will be guest editing The Wagner Journal.