August 2021: The Varnished Culture is gutted to learn that the Brisbane Ring Cycle set for October and November has been cancelled for the Second Time. Due to the damn faux-plague.
Opera Australia’s statement of 19/8/2021 followed its message to ticket holders the previous Tuesday:
We’re sad to announce that all upcoming performances of the Ring Cycle and Aida in Brisbane have been postponed due to COVID travel restrictions. This is hugely disappointing news, but we are committed to re-scheduling these spectacular productions so that the seven years of planning that has already gone into this project won’t go to waste. Ticketholders will be contacted regarding their options. We thank all of our partners, artists, audiences and devoted supporters, and we look forward to performing these great operatic works in the future.
So we return mournfully to our recordings and DVD’s and wait again for Götterdämmerung. Sky Arts has a Stephen Fry-hosted complete film of the 2016 Bayreuth Ring, but as staged by Frank Castorf in true modern German sado-shorts style (Valhalla is “re-imagined” as a cheap 1950s motel/truck stop/gas station à la the Met production of Cosi fan Tutte – see below), better instead to seek solace from these wonderfully counter-factual lines of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) on the salve of music, which seem apt under the circumstances:
“Harts, hinds, horses, dogs, bears are exceedingly delighted with it; elephants, Agrippa adds; and in Lydia in the midst of a lake there be certain floating islands (if ye believe it), that after music will dance.”