The music from Der Ring des Nibelungen has been a good part of the soundtrack to my life for longer than I care to remember. Having studied brass instruments through school I was more than familiar with Wagner’s music. The first time it really made sense however, was in my second year of design school when my mentor pulled me into his office and demanded I tell him what was playing, on what was then the latest in music technology, his new CD player.
It was the opening chord to Das Rheingold. Thanks to the new technology I heard it like it was for the first time. As those Rhinemaidens proceeded to greet the rising sun I was completely hooked. Thus began a lifelong admiration for the music of Richard Wagner which has grown stronger as the years progress.
So a few years ago I found myself working in Photoshop, painting a couple of scenes from various of Wagner's operas and thought 'hmm, maybe I should try and design all of the scenes from Der Ring so I can use them as various backdrops for future paintings' and a bright but somewhat ambitious project was born.
It's developed from there into something rather larger than originally anticipated but it's been a wonderful challenge which I thought would be my own personal tribute to Richard Wagner on the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Having been infuriated by the current lack of respect for the composer's original intentions which has been inflicted on audiences worldwide with the emergence of Regietheater I decided that what I needed was my own personal concept captured in visual terms that I could share with the wider community.
The intention with this project is to remain true to the original scenic descriptions of Wagner's score and as close a possible to the original costume ideas while giving them a more contemporary, fantasy art feel. I'd planned originally to only create the scenes in purely visual terms, but then the thought struck me to design them as if they were to be performed in the theatre.
And so here we are, a few years later with the decor done and quite a few other images too. And still growing. I'm hoping you might like to stay awhile now and check in later to watch this concept evolve.