A Rebel with a Cause
Teatro Massimo di Palermo's 'Siegfried',
reviewed by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
In 2013 Teatro Massimo di Palermo decided to present Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen in a new production, especially designed for its huge stage and entrusted to Graham Vick (stage direction) and Richard Hudson (sets and costumes). The prologue and the first episode ('A key flaw', 26 January 2013 and 'Anything goes', 3 March 2013) were reviewed at that time. Due to financial problems and changes in the theatre management, after the first two operas of the cycle, the production was suspended. Now the Ring is back: Siegfried was premiered on 18 December as the last opera of the 2015 season — I was in the audience — and Götterdämmerung is scheduled to open the 2016 season on 28 January. The stage direction, sets and costumes are as designed for the 2013 production but the musical direction and almost the entire cast changed during the last three years. In general, it changed for the better, especially because the current conductor Stefan Anton Reck is a Ring veteran whilst his predecessor Pietari Inkinen was young and rather inexperienced. Among the singers, Thomas Gazheli is, no doubt, a top-class Wotan, while in 2013 Frank Hawlata appeared at the end of his once glorious career.