Critics call time on Castorf’s Ring while Barenboim shows Londoners how it should be done.

German critics are up in arms it would appear over an act of onstage fellatio in Siegfried, the third installment of Frank Castorf’s controversial new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungenat the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.

Opinion had been divided over the Das Rheingold, set in a seedy motel on Route 66, and Die Walküre, set in an oilfield in Baku. But the legendary director of Berlin’s Volksbühne seems to have crossed a boundary with Siegfried, set in East German era Alexanderplatz.

“Blowjobs, crocodiles and a communist Mount Rushmore”, laments the German newspaper Die Welt“This Ring of the Nibelungis not to be taken seriously.” Reading between the lines of their review, however, it appears that the offending act of oral sex is a case of coitus interruptus. “Wotan has spaghetti hanging out of his mouth like Don Camillo”, they explain. “Then he forces the goddess of wisdom, Erda, to her knees. But just as it is about to come to oral sex, the waiter appears and forces Wotan to pay the bill for the spaghetti and the red wine.” According to the doughty...

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