Michael Tanner

Realising Wagner’s power

There is no experience faintly comparable to sitting in an opera house at the opening of Wagner’s Ring cycle, knowing you will be watching and listening to the whole thing in the space of a week. The opening E flat, especially when it emerges as it does at the Royal Opera in total darkness, the pit as well as the auditorium, is thrilling beyond belief, and as the music slowly begins to move the sense of being in at the beginning and not knowing what will happen is overwhelming, however familiar you may be with the Ring.

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