Dragons and Gold

Hej! Long time, no see! Apparently arranging life after university is a busy process. That and there’re just so many distractions. Especially when it’s such lovely weather as we had in July. Have you had a moment to just sit and watch the world go by?

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I’d say the flutterby wanted to read, but I hadn’t written anything on that page. Not then, anyway.

My favourite part of July, though, was the week I spent at the Proms. This year is Wagner’s bicentenary, so there’s lots of celebrating. Leastways, there is in the classical music world. Brilliant for me (I’m something of a Wagner-obsessive. I just love his music), except for the obscene prices. So I was delighted that the BBC Proms were doing semi-staged concert performances of a handful of his operas, including my favourite: the four-part cycle about a ring of power: Der Ring des Nibelung. I’m also something of an obsessive about the Germanic legend on which the cycle is based – the Nibelungenlied or the saga of the Volsungs.

I admit, my preference is for the saga. The lied is a good tale, but it lacks that which makes the saga such fun: the mythological aspect. The lied tries too hard to be historical, I feel. The saga has a dragon. And semi-valkyries. (It’s not quite sure if Brynhild is a valkyrie or a shield-maiden.) And dwarves. Magic and mystery. Much more fun.

Have you been Promming? If so, are you a gallery or an arena person? My friend and I chose the gallery (we also figured that climbing the stairs to the top counted as our exercise for the week. Especially that week, when we attended five operas). There’s nothing quite like live music. I’m still speechless as to how awesome it was. There was an almost perfectly timed thunderstorm after Das Rheingold. Just what’s needed to lead into Die Walküre, given the fury of Wotan at Brünnhilde’s disobedience.