The Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) got together with the Akademie der Künste to produce a special exhibition style performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. More like a very strange turbo style treatment. Four directors and four production teams collaborated with four separate casts of singers, instrumentalists, DJs, screaming choirs, and actors to put on four mini performances of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung.
I sang the role of Woglinde in das Rheingold, an experience that I certainly won’t forget, but also won’t remember with much joy. It wasn’t really the role of Woglinde at all, but rather, some little bits and pieces of it that were chopped and changed about, repeated ad lib, and transposed at will. Stage rehearsals were fairly unpredictable, with our director changing her mind and scene focus at regular intervals. One day we’d be rolled across the stage in wheelbarrows, the next day, we were bobbing for pieces of sushi and rubber chickens. She considered getting from A to B by simply getting us to lie down and roll across the floor, but that idea was quickly vetoed when it became clear that our extra large inflatable plastic breasts and bum cheeks would probably burst on-stage. Fortunately, we did manage to convince her that in order to sing, we had to take the baby dummies out of our mouths.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening for me was being eaten by a large furry grey monster at the end of the Rheingold sequence. This meant that me and my plastic breasts got to hide out in darkness until the audience had moved on to the next opera (past the screaming choir).