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A Ring Cycle cancelled? Katharina Wagner picks up her Ring and goes home

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday, 20 October 2012 | 9:41:00 am

Waiting for the phone to ring?
As Wagner arrives back in Bayreuth after only one day in Argentina she tells reporters: "Bayreuth will do me well enough".

We had not reported on this over the last few days as there has been slightly conflicting reports,  however an interview with Katharina Wagner today may have clarified things a little. As you are probably aware, a "new" "reduced Ring cycle (running at 7 hours) is planned to take place in the Teatro Colon,  Buenos Aires, beginning on the 27th November. Katharina Wagner was to direct. However, after spending only one day in Buenos Aires, she has flown straight home.

A number of conflicting reports have appeared over the last day or so: from announcements that the Cycle is cancelled , to another stating that the Teatro Colon had found itself a new director. In an interview today, Katherina Wagner has clarified things a little - at least from her perspective:

So, what happened exactly? ( and translated in our usual idiosyncratic manner)?

"I showed up on time with my team on Tuesday for the start of rehearsals in the Teatro Colon, and there just was not anything there - as had been agreed in advance. There was almost no rehearsal stage setup. The costume and the makeup department had not even begun their work. Assistants and some singers were missing. And it was clear that all of this would not even be there in two days. Therefore, we flow straight home. Bayreuth will do me well enough".

So, you have cancelled then, as the press has stated?

"We have certainly not cancelled. These press releases were false. On the contrary. We told the director, we want to work and fulfil our contract. If the conditions are provided which allow us to continue we can return within 48 hours and start work."

So, what did the Teatro Colon's artistic director say when you told him you were unhappy with the conditions?

"He said little. He asked if I was ready, that I could begin to rehearse without all of the props, artists and rehearsal staging."

And you replied?

"I told him this was simply not possible. And was unacceptable for all concerned

He then left the room, slamming the door. We sat and waited, because we thought he would return and make some suggestions but he did not. When we returned to Germany, I wrote to him  via email and told him that I want to fulfil the contract and that he should tell me when we can come back. So far he has not responded."

 It seems that opera directing outside of the ready resources of Bayreuth may not be to everyones tastes

The full interview can be read here (in German)