Sunday, April 25, 2010
Das Rheingold for kids
Los Angeles has Wagner Fever, with a variety of agencies and organizations partnering with the LA Opera to totally saturate LA with Ring-o-mania. You can see all the Ring operas, if you want - and you can also attend lectures, art exhibits, and much more.
If you can only attend one Ring event - and especially if you happen to have a young person in tow - then I highly recommend storytelling troupe We Tell Stories' version of "The Rhine's Gold." Yesterday's performance at Central Library kept a large audience of kids enthralled as four charismatic actors donned and doffed a variety of costumes as they told the story of the dwarf who steals the magical gold from the Rhine maidens and makes a ring from it, while Wotan and his wife and sister-in-law have problems with giants.
The props and costumes have a wonderfully crafty kid-appeal - the dwarf puppet is made out of a Converse hightop shoe, while a dragon has big DVD eyes. Kids from the audience are invited on-stage to flow like the Rhine River, to taunt the dwarf as Rhine maidens, to be Nibelungs bringing gold to Wotan, and even to have starring parts like Freya or a Giant. The actors are so personable and flexible that even the tongue-tied boy who played the Giant eventually felt so comfortable that his death scene brought down the house.
There are six more FREE performances at Los Angeles Public Library branches around the city. Go check one out! And the best thing? You'll know the story of Das Rheingold so well that you won't even need to sit through the hours-long opera! On the other hand, your child may insist on going to Die Walkure to find out what happens next...
Posted by Eva M