Rings

Phil Ford

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It is as I thought.

Speaking of rings . . .

Next week I’m heading to Toronto for a week to see the Ring — the Canadian Opera Company’s much-ballyhooed production of Wagner’s Ring tetralogy, not the LotR musical, as someone asked me, doubtless not quite believing that a guy who writes about Les Baxter would be going to see that other, longer Ring . . .

One friend of mine, hearing that I was making The Pilgrimage (what is it about Wagner and Tolkien that make you want to Capitalize Everything?) said, oh, so you’re one of those people. To which I reply, I’m going to see the Ring for the same reason that Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Everest: my Mom got me tickets. She used to work for the COC and is an inveterate opera freak, and when I finished my Ph.D. she bought me a ticket as a graduation present. That was three years ago: at last, it’s showtime.

Now, I’m really not one of those people — you know, following Ring productions around the world like Deadheads but with better hygiene and different drugs. Like a lot of people I have a complicated, conflicted relationship to Wagner. Parsifal blows my mind, but Siegfried, for example, is just a little too full of mannheit and bruderschaft for comfort. (I always root for the Nibelungen. Screw the gods!) But going to hear the Ring in all its majesty is one of those all-time things-to-do-before-you-die. I’m psyched.

So I’ll see if I can use my Mom’s ancient Mac to post live (or almost-live) blog updates of the production. Fair warning: I make no claims for my ability to say anything intelligent about Wagner. I’m an enthusiast, not a specialist. Wagner scholars will just have to grit their teeth and deal with the fact that, at the end of the day, I’m a guy who writes about Les Baxter.

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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