Why ROH's Antonio Pappano Cannot Sit Through The Ring

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 | 5:33:00 pm

"How much Wagner can I listen to? About this much ,mate"

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Antonio Pappano, music director of the ROH, explained that he was concerned that peoples attention spans were getting shorter. "Audiences have to learn to fill in the gaps between the arias, between the good bits, make the story their own.” he advised. Whether he felt that it was the conductors role to make sure the performance was maintained during these sections was something that he did not comment upon

In response, he was asked if in a 100 years from now will people still be able to sit through all 16 hours of the Ring cycle.

"I think the music is strong enough to survive, and the stories will always draw people in. The last time we did it (the Ring) we sold out in two days.” “You can lose yourself in it. And we need that in our lives, that feeling of being lost," he enthused

So, we must assume that he often listens and attends performance of the Ring? Especially given his advice to the average concert goer? He laughs. “I don’t have time in my schedule to sit through a complete Ring cycle" He did, however note that "...but I can conduct one"

A strange response perhaps and oddly in contrast to Christian Thielemann (a world renowned Wagnerian conductor) who noted in his recent book the importance of listening to many different conductors interpretations of Wagner.

In the interview Mr...sorry "Sir" Antonio (During another interview we discovered that not only does he not like being interrupted but wishes for people to refer to his knighthood)  also threatens us with a new ROH Ring cycle in 2018,

The full interview can be read here.