Götterdämmerung review – conductor Anthony Negus is the lord of this Ring

Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh
The conductor’s authority and understanding permeate every bar, but the whole cast excel in this deeply satisfying production

As a reflection of the present state of things, politically and ecologically, Wagner’s final opera of his Ring tetralogy is an uncomfortable reminder that the hunger for power, together with the ambition and fundamental greed that feeds it, never goes away, only returning in ever more threatening waves. It’s as well that the cumulative strengths of Longborough Festival Opera’s production, now reaching its apogee in Götterdämmerung, should be so deeply satisfying musically as to engender elements of hope.

Realising Wagner’s own epic ambition in the context of Longborough’s small, Bayreuth-inspired theatre is primarily the remarkable achievement of conductor Anthony Negus, undoubted lord of this Ring. His authority and understanding permeate every bar. The tone-colours coaxed from his musicians – albeit necessarily fewer than in big houses – are captivating, and the sense that his fine cast of singers were able to luxuriate in the orchestral sound as well as their own is underpinned by tight discipline.

Götterdämmerung is at Longborough Festival Opera in rep on 31 May, and 2, 4 and 6 June.

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