SPACES ‘Wagner Apocalypse’

Near West Performers & Friends-  Looking for an exciting performance opportunity this weekend?  Check out the information below about an innovative project being taken on by SPACES.  Don’t delay- RSVPs need to be received today!! (Near West Theatre has no direct association with this production.  We are just passing on an opportunity!)

SPACES is seeking performers to join a one-night experimental production of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, WAGNER APOCALYPSE, orchestrated by Los-Angeles based performance artist Liz Glynn as part of the Machine Project residency.  The performance is scheduled for SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26th, at 8pm, at SPACES.

WAGNER APOCALYPSE is a silent re-enactment of the complete stage directions from the Ring Cycle.  The stage directions will be projected like a silent film in the background; the performance appears as a walk-through rehearsal, in which performers seek to embody the epic through simple bodily gestures.  The performance was originally developed for the L.A. Opera’s Ring Cycle Festival in 2010.

No vocal skill, or professional experience is necessary, though we would love to have experienced actors and actresses engage in this experiment.

Performers are asked to convene 90 minutes prior to the start time at SPACES for a brief introduction to the piece.  Pizza, beer, and refreshments will be provided.

Please rsvp to by Thursday at midnight.


The idea is to take this epic “gesamptkunstwerk” and strip off many of the layers which make opera difficult to access.  This follows the legacy of Brecht, whose theories led to several hyper-minimal productions of Wagner following WWII which removed the baroque naturalism which had become equated with the Nazis and German nationalism, and focused the attention on the emotional and psychological dynamics of the opera. Wagner Apocalypse operates at the margin where the participants are quite literally going through the motions in order to construct this emotional exchange.

The piece was developed for the Ring Cycle Festival in LA in 2010, but a lot of my research looked at the evolution of the Bayreuther Festspiele, the opera company founded by Richard Wagner himself and operated by his various descendents since his death.  This company has been emblematic of the battleground over interpreting Wagner politically / socially.  My favorite production is the one by Patrice Chereau from the 70s.. Flight of the Walkure (theme from Apocalypse Now)–that one is really amazing, as they’re actually dragging corpses across the stage.


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