Spellbound: “The Ring Without Words” (inter alia) Adelaide Town Hall, Friday night, 29 July 2022
We had previously had a taste of this courtesy of the ASO and Richard Wagner Society of SA. And we had been somewhat skeptical about the idea of synthesizing Wagner’s immense cycle, sans the singing: would it be, as some have said of the piece, akin to setting your car radio on ‘scan’ and listening to grabs of melody as they hurtled past? But before this, we had to endure several rather mediocre (in my view) Richard Strauss songs, even though they were expertly presented by the ASO under the baton of Nicholas Braithwaite and sung prettily by the lovely Nicole Car.
Then to the main event. One supposes that one person’s ‘synthesis’ is another’s ‘mash-up’ but we admit that despite reservations, the work was neat, virtually seamless, and very satisfying if you can’t have the whole enchilada. The ASO and Nicholas Braithwaite have done Adelaide a fine favour in providing Wagnerites some spiritual sustenance in these dark times,