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Monika Ritterhaus
at Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, California
Recommendation by Jody Zellen

Continuing through July 17, 2010

\"Der Ring des Nibelungen,\" Richard Wagner\'s epic four opera cycle recently completed its ballyhooed run in Los Angeles. Staged and directed by Achim Freyer, this production\'s elaborate and unconventional staging has been beautifully documented by photographer Monika Ritterhaus. Already a renown theatre photographer, Ritterhaus served as the exclusive photographer for L.A. Opera\'s \"Ring,\" and what we see here captures its dramatic lighting, costumes, and staging in one crisp and elegant image after another. Allowing the layers of the performance to come through, the photographs allude to not only the depth of the drama, but to the complex relationships formed on stage.

Each image is carefully composed, taking into consideration that its an isolated moment of a long work. The individual frames convey that they are but an instant within a much larger narrative. Ritterhaus\' \"Ring\" is more than a series of publicity stills, and although they sell one on the performance they record, they stand as works of art in their own right.

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