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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, by Richard Wagner

Mariinsky II / St. Petersburg / Music

What pandemic? Since August, Valery Gergiev’s home team has been cranking out opera on the grand scale, from Aida, Boris Godunov, and Carmen to Die Zauberflöte by way of Shchedrin’s Lolita. After this year’s postponement of eagerly awaited new editions of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle—from Bayreuth to Brisbane—the return of the Mariinsky’s seasoned productions strikes quite the heroic note. Though crudely executed, George Tsypin’s monumentally scaled stage pictures have serious mojo, conjuring up an onstage audience of silent cosmic onlookers infinitely more powerful than Wagner’s self-deluding deities. At the podium, Gergiev is sure to whip up tempests, and his house ensemble may be counted on for plenty of heart-on-sleeve thrills. In its time, this “Ring” has been handed down from one inadequate stage director to another. In an unusual development, it has now been entrusted to Marina Mishuk, a pianist on the theater’s music staff who has coached generations of singers through every note. Say this for her: she knows the score cold. —M.G.

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Mariinsky II Ulitsa Dekabristov, 34, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
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