- 'Gottdämmerung' and the ambiguity of a 'grüner ring'
and the ambiguity of a 'grüner ring'
©argospier20/03/2007 - 1000 words.
Editor/Consultant - Joneve McCormick ]
March, 2007, the day the Carsen and Kinmonth production of the 'Ring'
started, the Kölner Stadt Unzeiger ran a leading
article on Europe's fight against Global warming. Predictions were
made as to how only one fifth of the EU's energy use of the nineties
will come from re-usable energy sources in 2020. Budeskanzlerin
Angela Merkel (CDU) was quoted as saying that 'the time till
then should be used to save humanity from muchunhappiness.'
Quite hype-ish and vague.
news feature had tips for the reduction of carbon-dioxide footprints:
a carbon dioxide diet - Neu Aktion: Die CO2-Diät.
Lovely gluttonous one might say. At the same time, in his promotional
interview in a Köln Oper publication, Carsen too digresses
on the pollution of ozone layers, the Rhine and the world, by carbon
emissions from factories and cars. The opening scene of theVorabond,
Das Rheingold, presented a setting suggesting a river and, from
its banks, people was tossing debris into it. The theme of pollution
the EU Commission on Climate Change was assembled in the days immediately
prior to the opera's opening night, and its findings are always
'news' to European Citizenry, the fact that there is a
coincidence between what Carsen said and what Budeskanzlerin Angela
Merkel said and what the Kölner Stadt Unzeiger reported, cannot
be ascribed to manipulative promotional marketing. It’s rather
an actuality that is dire. Both the ideas Carsen put forward (it
got his Ring dubbed the 'Grüner Ring' - Green Ring)
and what Budeskanzlerin Angela Merkel has said are valid erzatz
formulations of a certain perspective on reality and it does in
a way concern the 'happiness of humanity' on an immediate
timescale (and of the animals and plants as well) and has merit
in a present day context. But in relation to Wagner's 'Ring des
Niebelungen' the issue might be a bit overstretched.
point that matters (and not so easy to confirm) when talking about
a 'Grüner Wagnerian Ring' is to what extent Richard
Wagner was concerned with nature conservation, ozone pollution and
energy use and output when he composed the 'Ring des
Niebelungen'. A 'Grüner Ring' -- is
this an applicable term for a new production of Wagner's work? Doesn't
the mere concept of it makes of the 'Ring des Niebelungen' an apocalyptical
prophecy misguiding the spectators and listeners into believing
Wagner himself was an apocalyptical figure preaching the downfall
of industrialists (and gods)? Or were his references to the pollution
of the Rhein, the 'stealing of the gold' (by Alberich,
the horizontalist with little awareness of transcendental thought),
'the casting of a powerful object, a ring' and the 'corruptive
behaviour of the higher classes' (Wotan and his household)
meant as a search for interior motives in his own life concerning
vertical growth and the possible discovery of the mentioned transcedental
bliss of awareness? Has Wagner's trilogy with Vorabbond, Das Rheingold
überhaubt anthing to do with the flat and easy to understand
notion that if you dirty a river, the fish in it will die (and the
Rhein fairies watching over the 'gold' will be left robbed and poor)?
is much ambiguity in pursuing a 'Grüner Ring' as a
logo for 'The Ring des Niebelungen' and
not enough good reasoning in pushing this Carsen and Kinmonth production
of Wagner's Ring as a 'Grüner Ring'. The concept itself
sounds scythish and it is too popular. It misses much dimension
too and may reduce the production to a kind of protest manifestation.
And, what is worse, it has really the same soft sootiness of a virtuality
that Frau Budeskanzlerin Angela Merkel has in mind when she has
a 'fear' for the 'unhappiness of humanity'. It’s
just hype-ish, vague and leads to controversy. The core concept
in Wagner's Opera and the possibility of myth-working and myth-thinking
within the own psyche gets blurred. And coming to terms with it,
it won't lead to self-introspection and a new perspective on the
destructive forces of the 'within' that ruin the 'happiness of humanity'
for which Wagner's opera becomes, in effect, a 'new arena' in which
awareness begins a battle with horizontally political thought.
'Ring des Niebelungen' isn't 'grün' at
all, it's rather a school - and for that matter, a school of a different
order wanting to teach its spectator transcendental awareness. But
also, yes, it's only an Opera and the Carsen and Kinmonth production
is of a brilliance that is exhilarating to the soul. Many of the
spectators that came from all over Germany and neighbouring countries
in their carbon dioxide emission cars and wearing their lovely garments,
the manufacturing of which helped pollute the 'Umwelt',
were absolutely stunned with the performance.
was one of them! Bravo to Carsen and Kinmonth!