For sure I would have loved to have gone to Vladimir Jurowski's Wagner Das Rheingold at the Royal Festival Hall with the LPO. Very good cast, good orchestra and a conductor who's done quite a bit of Wagner in chunks over the years. When I used to go out five times plus a week, I'd have been there in a flash. I drooled over the tickets as late as December when there were good seats available for £60, but instead booked the whole Debussy series (MORE HERE) at the Barbican (and a few other pricey things coming up soon). No way was I spending £300 plus for an unstaged performance ! I'm not bothered about signed programmes and/or dinner with the stars. Been there, done that, for free. Fortunately, most of my friends went, which was good. So what I did instead last night was to listen again to the Jaap Van Zweden Rheingold in Hong Kong in 2015. Last week Van Zweden conducted Götterdämmerung in Hong Kong, which a lot of my friends there attended too, and loved. How lucky I am to have an international network !
The Hong Kong Ring is pretty good, easily equal to many other Rings, and much better than some. Recommended ! The Rheingold cast was upmarket, and included stars like Michelle DeYoung (also in last week's Götterdämmerung ), Matthias Goerne, Kwangchul Youn, Oleksander Pushniak, Eri Nakamura, Stephen Milling and others (link here) And the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is pretty impressive. Decades ago I did backstage support for them - wow, am I ever proud. For Hong Kong, this Ring was a coming-of-age statement. The city sits on the edge of a massive hinterland, its potential market not only China but the world. In Asia, people don't sneer at classical music for being elitist. They see it as aspirational : the sign of cultivated minds and souls. In the west, people don't realize how advanced the Asian market really is, and how long it's been active. I would have enjoyed Jurowski's Rheingold in London but van Zweden's Rheingold in Hong Kong was more than compensation.