The 100th anniversary of the debut of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung in Bayreuth was coming up in the mid-1970s. Svoboda was invited to collaborate with director Götz Friedrich and Covent Garden in London. Very soon after he was approached by Jean-Claude Riber, who was going to stage this same work at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva. As a result, Svoboda was working on two different projects for this monumental trilogy almost simultaneously. Friedrich wanted to show the universality of Wagner’s work as an excerpt from the history of the planet Earth. The director and the designer agreed that it should follow a play-within-a-play concept. The Covent Garden stage offered a solution – a large, centrally situated trap. Svoboda replaced the panel covering the trap with a special platform that was invisible at floor level. The underside was covered with perfect mirror foil, so that when it was raised and tilted towards the audience, it reflected what was happening beneath it. This multifunctional platform became the unifying staging element for the entire trilogy.
Richard Wagner: THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG / DER RINGS DES NIEBELUNGEN
Royal Opera House / Covent Garden London
director: Götz Friedrich
conductor: Colin Davis
costume designer: Ingrid Rosell