The Ring. Wagner. Animated.-The Big Slapple Apollo Theatre-2.5k

It is part of The Fringe’s charm that it has almost every form of entertainment imaginable on offer.  It is with this in mind that is is important to keep an open mind when perusing the Fringe Program and picking what you will go and see.  Often you will be rewarded for your adventurousness but sometimes you will get your fingers burnt.

More Than Opera are a community minded company with the admirable mission statement of making ‘more types of opera more accessible to more types of people’.  This Fringe they are debuting their multi-media interpretation of Richard Wagner’s The Ring cycle.  In the Fringe program this show is in the film section.  I would suggest this is ill-advised as the out-dated computer game demo animation is definitely not the best thing about the performance.  The six person orchestra led by producer/musical director David Ian Kram performed abridged sections of Wagner’s masterpiece beautifully, unfortunately the overly loud narration along with the film, which at times came across like a karaoke video from the World of War Craft social club, only distracted from this.  The over-air conditioned Hall B of Adelaide Convention Centre (The Big Slapple Apollo Theatre for the time being) is a far cry from Bayreuth, but the cod costumes and Playstation graphics only compounded this.

More than Opera deserve plaudits for attempting to get Wagners across to new audience but spelling out the German’s mad cap tale of warriors, Valhalla  and Valkyries with music, transcripts, narration animation and dramatics sometimes felt like sensory overload.  A stronger focus on the music would benefit this production however as an introduction to Wagner, opera and as an educational tool this is a promising concept.

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