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Standing ovations and people leaving before applause

14 replies

sieglinde · 25/10/2012 12:25

Maybe this should go in AIBU, but here goes:

I was at Gotterdammerung last night at the ROH, and my eye was caught by the really large number of people leaving the auditorium before the curtain calls. Maybe some hated it - though it was sizzling! - and maybe some had trains to catch, but it seems hard to credit that after 4.5 hours of music they apparently couldn't be arsed to stay for even one round of applause. It just seems rude.

Same event - my family and I stood up to give John Tomlinson a standing ovation. The man behind me poked me in the back and insisted I sat down, and threw a huge hissy fit when i said wait a minute. Moaned that he couldn't see.. I told him why I was standing and he got even hissier and said I was being patronising, but I honestly thought he might not know.,.. Interestingly, the same thing happened to my son at the Bayerischer Staatsoper. Are standing ovations going out in the face of people's demand that they see the cast? People were actually standing up everywhere in small groups. Of course I get that it temporarily impedes people's view, but I myself wouldn't mind if people in front of me felt moved to rise, even if I didn't. He was btw young and in no way disabled.

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Flosshilde · 25/10/2012 12:42

Firstly, I have always wondered whether you were a Wagnerian and this post has confirmed it, so thank you! Grin I am also very jealous - I am only managing to listen to this Ring Cycle on IPlayer as a 2yo and another on the way is not conducive to an entire Ring Cycle in a city 200 miles from home.

I have been to lots of Wagner (and other opera) up here in the NW and also at Glyndebourne and it has only been in the NW where people have left before the curtain calls. I assume it is to catch public transport - people often come a long way for Wagner and given its length it is often tight to the last train home.

This didn't happen at Glyndebourne as the coaches back to London are arranged as are the timings of the last train from Glynde; otherwise most people are driving.

With regard to standing ovations, I think you were just unlucky. I was at the RoH for the cycle in 2007/8 (??) and stood to applaud. No problem. I have also never had a problem at the RAH, Bridgewater Hall, Lowry or even Glyndebourne. In fact when the Halle did Gotterdammerung in concert at the Bridgewater Hall there wasn't a person left in their seat.

Lilymaid · 25/10/2012 12:52

DH was also there last night. He stayed for the applause as he knew that he would be able to catch his last train home (he particularly enjoyed seeing the orchestra come up on stage). For one of the others (Walkure?) he had to leave before the applause finished or he would have been stuck in London overnight.
I expect he was standing (he always get somewhat enthusiastic in his applause)
Perhaps you could explain the significance of the person standing on top of the arch at the end? I suggested to DH it was something to do with regeneration ...

Flosshilde · 25/10/2012 12:56

Isn't the person on the arch at the end supposed to symbolise the rise of humankind to precedence after the fall of the gods?

Lilymaid · 25/10/2012 13:03

Flosshilde - I'll tell DH that ... hopefully he will be impressed. I'm not too good at interpreting opera productions I've not seen at 7.30 in the morning!

sieglinde · 25/10/2012 13:30

Hi, lily and Floss.

Thanks for these.

Yup, I'm a total Wagnermaniac. You too, I guess? The rhinemaidens were brilliant last night :) Yes, it was terrific to see the whole augmented orchestra take the stage!

I too thought the woman atop the ring was redeemed humanity/love...

As said, I totally see why some people have to leave to get the last train. Just I'm not sure this quite accounts for the rush!

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Katisha · 25/10/2012 15:25

I was there! Willl take a few weeks to come down from a complete ring! The funeral music was epic.
Re leaving quickly we legged it out if the first three operas as didn't want my mum to be any later babysitting than she had to be and we both had work the next day. But last night we decided to stay for the applause and get home after midnight.
Feel utterly shattered today!

Katisha · 25/10/2012 15:49

Barenboim is bringing the Berlin Ring Cycle to the proms next year, btw

Flosshilde · 25/10/2012 22:23

Am now listening to Siegfried on IPlayer.

Were the Rhinemaidens naked this time? I seem to remember they were when I saw the Warner production.

The fantastic thing about the Opera North Ring which they are doing over 4 years is that it is only semi staged and the orchestra are on stage for the whole thing. I love watching the orchestra, partially because I'm an (amateur) orchestral player myself but also because they work bloody hard for hours and rarely get sufficient credit.

Hopefully I will be able to do a couple of Proms but it depends how often DC2 feeds by then (will be between 3 and 6 mo). I am also crossing my fingers that we don't get tickets for Bayreuth next year as I wouldn't be able to go. Unlikely as it is the bicentennial but it is year 7 on the waiting list for us which I understand is about average.

sieglinde · 26/10/2012 09:00

They weren't exactly naked - they were wearing body stockings, I think - but we were meant to think they were.... There might have been a moment of total nudity when they turned - looked like bare bums...

Agree about the overwhelming experience, Katisha. I am still listening to bits of my ridiculously large number of Ring recordings and making mental comparisons ....

We tried to get tickets to the Barenboim in Berlin, but no dice, and my bet is that it will be a tough ask at the Proms.

Year 7 on the Bayreuth list, Floss! Lucky you. We're only on Year 4. If you do get seats and - erm - don't want them... um... we could offer them a good home. :)

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Katisha · 26/10/2012 09:09

I have just had a good high decibel blast of the Funeral Music on iPlayer...

I keep forgetting to put in the application to Bayreauth - forgot again and the deadline has recently passed. Oh well. I didn't really know I wanted to do it until now. If they give you tickets and you can't go do you have to start again or are you at the front of the queue the following year?

Sieglinde I am not generally a fan of opera on recordings but have decided I might have to get DH and myself a DVD set for Christmas, WHich one would you recoemmend? Is the Met one with Bryn any good?

sieglinde · 26/10/2012 11:17

Oh, Katisha. How did you know how many Wagner DVDs I own?? Blush

Katisha, I'd go for the Barenboim/Kupfer one from Bayreuth with John Tomlinson as Wotan ahead of the new Met one. The sets are a bit Hmm, especially since Siegfried lives in a yellow and green nuclear submarine, but if you can withstand the post-nuclear stuff the singing, orchestra and acting are divine.

My other pick is a sentimental favourite - I love the old Chereau Centenary Ring, with Boulez. It was the first Ring I ever heard or saw, on battered old pirate VCR tapes. I went out the next day and sgned up for extra shifts at work so I could buy the Solti LPs.

Bryn is of course wonderful for the Met, and I ADORE Kaufmann Blush and very much like Westbroek, but I can't bear Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde, and think Levine very so-so with the orchestra. (He's speeded up a bit, but not enough.)

You COULD also consider the Copenhagen Ring, though it wouldn't make for a very sane first choice. A slasher, dirt-horror Rheingold, telling and exceedingly grim. I also have a fondness for the Aix Walkure as a standalone, Rattle conducting and Willard White as Wotan...

And if you are in the mood for laughs, the OLD Met ring looks like a table gamer's wet-dream, as DS recently said. Styrofoam rocks and everyone costumed in Warhammer kit. Plenty of it can be found on YouTube, with the likes of poor Siegfried Jerusalem looking as if they have no idea why they are involved.

Now let's talk about recorded versions... Testament, or Decca? Grin

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Katisha · 26/10/2012 12:27

Oh dear I was hoping you'd say the Met one was good because I'd at least like to have Bryn in it, as he was such a major part of the one I have just seen. But if the Brunnhilde is annoying and the conducting too slow then I wonder if I will just end up hating it.

sieglinde · 26/10/2012 13:24

I think the Met one IS good, and many people love Voigt. It wouldn't be my first choice. I think Bryn is - well - godlike, and Kaufmann is incredible, like a lost Peter Pan in chainmail, but with a very deep-toned tenor, and Westbroek is brilliant too, an abused Wendy with a Hunding like a bad Santa. I wouldn't be without it. But that's true for me of almost any Ring...

After, erm, over a dozen Ring cycles, and many more single Ring operas, I think there is no perfect version. I think you should go with someone you know you love; there's no better way. If you want Bryn, the Met def. gives you that.

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Katisha · 26/10/2012 13:41

I think I'll go for the Met then - thank you for your help!

You've done a dozen Ring Cycles?????

Trouble is - I can now see how that can happen

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