Bayreuth is over and I look back, satisfied and somewhat nostalgic (you never know when you'll be back). What the two productions I've seen (Parsifal and Tannhäuser) have made abundantly clear is that nothing compares to the thrill of a live performance. There was some playing around with Augmented Reality in Parsifal. That means, for the limited part of the audience that had access to AR glasses. The result, according to the reviews I've read about it, didn't add anything essential to an otherwise conventional production. The graphics resembled a video game from 10 years ago. Everything was moving and there was a spear coming at you. It sounds a bit like those first 3D movies where everything was thrown at the screen (the viewer). As if to emphasize the novelty, not to support a story.
Tannhäuser in a production by Tobias Kratzer is proof that the use of (relatively) new media (such as video) and the bringing together of pop culture and classical repertoire can happen in a completely natural way with amazing results. It was a textbook example that ideas carry a production, not technology.
Click on the thumbnails below to read more about it.
- Wouter de Moor