Today's semi-sensical subject line is a phrase I read some twenty years ago in a book about murder mysteries and have used ever since to connote the needlessly arcane. Though in this case it just popped into my head since it's my understanding that Tsypin's (directorless?) Ring takes as its visual seed Scythian funerary statuary. It's not the kind of thing I go around knowing about, so I'll have to just pass that along to you as hopefully true.
What I can tell you about, on the other hand, is the musical values draped thereupon and the dramatic impact, both of which are very high without being such as makes one do backflips down the street. I'd recommend it except of course you'd have about half an hour to get a ticket for the last 1/8 of it.
My hope going in was that this would be some sort of replay of the Kirov's big deal tour to Lincoln Center in the 90's, whereupon we inherited the likes of Olga Borodina and Dmitri Hvorvostovsky, along with some more faded stars like Galina Gorchakova and Sergei Leiferkus who gave some enjoyable performances and some crazy-ass interviews. That is to say, I was hoping we'd find some new stars in this here Ring, and I think on that count, this outing has been a success.
Did you ever get a hunch about a singer from irrelevant details? You think his name sounds right for a marquee or her face is made for the projection of ridiculously outsized emotion? I had that hunch about Mlada Khudoley: just try saying the name--sounds famous doesn't it? I'm hearing she's got real star potential, though I took a pass on Walkuere. But in last night's Siegfried, I can attest directly to the presence of some singers you'd like to hear in upcoming seasons.
Insofar as your tastes line up with mine, who I think you should be most hell-bent on hearing is Aleksei Tanovitsky, our Wanderer. I've heard more boom in a bass, but after years of kvetching about James Morris' Wotan, always to my ear more pedestrian than crossing 34th Street, less inspired even than this review is turning out sofar, I am thrilled to have heard someone...hey I need to run, actually. Because Gotterdammerung is in 50 minutes.
So in fast-forward: Sergeeva started out rotten and then got good, capping things off with an are you kiddingly long C; the evening's Siegfried whose name I'll fill in later was soft-grained in ways that were a relief and a disappointment, a gent named Gorshkov I think was absolutely ideal as Mime, needle-toned without making the milk go sour, and Petrenko mined the depths with presence and the requisite measure of menace. The orch, as expected, messy but descript, resolutely so.
Sorry to blog and run, and of course I've skipped the production altogether. Most likely I'll remedy that, and if not, my friend who has Wagner chops in a way I don't has promised a write-up. See you in six hours, at which point I may try to make this not such a demipygous thing. (Personal to Chalkenteros: forgive my moment of feigned Greek there.)