A Forum for and the Background of the Mediation of Dialogue in Ancient and Modern Academies

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Varley's Portrays and Wagner's Götterdämmerung (COC 2017)

"Art is not merely recording surface life: incidents, emotions. The Artist divines the causes beneath which create the outward result." F.H.Varley

Another discovery, another painter among "the Seven", one of the finest: Varley the portraitist. Everything he has painted is a portrait: sometimes humans, crowds of immigrants or his life companion, sometimes suns and trees or mountains, and once Ferdinand the Bull under a tree (or did Ferdinand transform into the tree? Hard to tell...). His British finesse in discovering landscapes in faces and the way he portrayed landscapes was embraced by the Canadian "Group of Seven", and Sheffield's painter co-defined Canadian painting.

The last part of Wagner's Ring at the COC had a terrible staging and great voices. The first and last scenes were excellent, but the way that what happened in between was staged was not that harmonious with the lines of the text: businessmen on a large office desk singing about sacrificing oxen...and Brunnhilde sitting on an office chair while rolling down the hill of her passion...Really? Oh how unbearable that was. Why not choose Gogol, whom I particularly like, instead, and leave aside Wagner if one wishes to highlight the struggle of classes? Oh how I miss Germany sometimes. That said, so far there have been only good experiences with Wagner in Toronto, namely, with Walkuere and Siegfried.