"This production quite possibly shows us the path that musical theater
will be taking in the future" (Die Zeit). Indeed, the Catalan city of
Valencia is setting new accents in 21st-century opera not only with its
spectacular, futuristic opera house, the Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofía"
designed by Santiago Calatrava, but also with the visually transfixing
production of Wagner's "Ring" staged there by Carlus Padrissa and his
theater group La Fura dels Baus. The Barcelona-based Fura became known
internationally when it designed and carried out the opening ceremonies
of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and made its breakthrough in the
classical world with its production of Berlioz's "La damnation de Faust"
at the 1999 Salzburg Festival.
The Fura's trademark is its spellbinding fusion of movement, sound,
music, dance, acrobatics and technology into unforgettable stage events
of sometimes raw but always captivating power. In the world of opera, the
ensemble has defined its personal style through its exploitation of
large-screen projections, the extraordinary mobility of the performers,
and the magical use of human beings to create organic structures that
evoke objects such as Valhalla (in this "Ring" production). Indeed,
La Fura was predestined for Wagner's visionary world: his dream of a
Gesamtkunstwerk becomes reality as a shape-shifting sequence of tableaux
unfolds before our eyes with all the elements that constitute the
"lenguaje furero" or "Fura idiom".
Eminent conductor Zubin Mehta leads world-class Wagner singers such as
Matti Salminen, Peter Seiffert, Juha Uusitalo, Jennifer Wilson and Lance
Ryan. Most prominent among the younger cast members are Jennifer Wilson,
a "singer we'll be hearing more of" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and
Juha Uusitalo, whom the F.A.Z. hailed as a new "Number One among the
opera gods". Equally outstanding is the Orquestra de la Comunitat
Valenciana, one of the "youngest and best opera orchestras in Europe"
(Opernglas), playing "with rapturous beauty under Zubin Mehta. [...]
The suppleness, rhythmic presence and singer-friendly dynamic that Mehta
achieves with this orchestra are nothing less than miraculous" (F.A.Z.).
UNITEL CLASSICA is delighted to continue its proven collaboration with the
Palau de les Arts of Valencia, which now features productions of "Fidelio",
"Cyrano" and "Turandot" in addition to the Ring. UNITEL also offers a
"Making of" to each of the four Ring operas, as well as documentaries on
set designer Roland Olbeter, video designer Franc Aleu and director Carlus
Padrissa. With this Ring from Valencia UNITEL continues its cycles of Ring
productions begun with the "Centennial Ring" of Patrice Chéreau and Pierre
Boulez of the late 70s/early 80s, and followed by the Harry Kupfer/Daniel
Barenboim production of the early 90s, both in Bayreuth.