When Richard Wagner built a temple for his operas, he intentionally chose a site on a green hill in a small town named Bayreuth. He wanted his fans to dive into an ecstasy of music far away from the hectic city life. The tradition in Bayreuth may be unparalleled, but there are now some interesting alternatives. For instances, there is a complete Ring cycle on the edge of the Grand Canyon in the American state of Arizona. The first cycle in the small town of Flagstaff ended last Sunday (June 7), and the second is running this week. When the Arizona Opera put the Ring on stage two years ago, it was staged by German director Claus Koenig. This year, the job went to director Lutz Seelig who lives in Hamburg. The encounter of giants and dwarfs in the land of American Indians sounds exciting enough by itself, but the encounter between a German stage director and an American opera house is no less thought-provoking, as Georg Hirsch reports.
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