Feature  |  

The Guardian: ‘The most dangerous stage I’ve ever been on’: the wildest performances of Wagner’s Ring

The Guardian

“Baritone Christopher Maltman, who sings chief of the gods Wotan in the new production, argues that the Ring’s fundamental question is: what does power create? “In Wotan’s case, his quest ultimately is to seize the Earth for dominion.” Maltman tells me Kosky’s conceit is to conceive the drama as the dream of the Earth Mother, Erda, who gave birth to our home 4.6bn years ago and, when not bearing Wotan’s bastards, watched her first child’s despoliation.


As if singing Wagner wasn’t hard enough already. Maltman, at 53, feels only now is his voice mature enough for the role, which he describes as more physically demanding than Hamlet or Lear. He learned from previous Wotans, particularly the great John Tomlinson. “He helped me not just understand how to sing the role but how to interpret it.”

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