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Production Photos from the Bayreuth Festival's Walküre

After coming off the Motel / Route 66 Rheingold, overloaded and exciting, weird and captivating, Frank Castorf’s Walküre must seem conventional. Or maybe it should be called Aleksandar Denić’s Walküre – because what dominates this first day of the Ring is the massively impressive set of a Wild East farm that slowly turns into a Baku oil rig, celebrating “Oil Workers’ Day” in bold Azerbaijani lettering. (If you browse the “Petroleum industry in Azerbaijan” Wikipedia page, you get nearly as good an idea of the set design as looking at the production photos.) It’s an impressive, massive, sprawling wooden construction on the revolving stage with a tower higher than the proscenium arch, a barn with the whole front opening up to reveal the insides, and a raised patio with connecting flights of stairs. Oh, and two live turkeys grace act one, in a cage to the side, behind chicken wire, being fed by Sieglinde. Kwangchul Youn has really come into his own as an actor – and his Hunding was menacing yet curiously and pleasingly dignified, which also goes some way in describing his vocal contribution....

Full review on Click on excerpted images below to find a higher resolution version of the full picture.

All images courtesy Bayreuth Festival, © Enrico Nawrath

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