And now onto Siegfried. Many consider the toughest nut to crack in the cycle, and it comes at the toughest point in the day, right after we’ve all gone out for Chinese food….

For episode three we’ve turned to the Met and James Levine. After the leather and lasers from Bayreuth, the naturalistic sets and traditional costumes come as a bit of a shock. It’s easy to see how the sunglasses and mullets we’ve had so far date those productions, but then again, the unfortunate resemblance of the great James Morris as the Wanderer to Kenny Rogers circa The Gambler also tells a sad story of the state of makeup in the 1980s.

We’ve girded our loins with a fresh pot of coffee and we’re gradually adjusting to the sound of a different orchestra  and a new look on the screen. I’ve seen this DVD before, but I’m hoping the context will bring some interesting new insights….

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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