Wagner is rolling over in his grave right now. Tomorrow night (Saturday, June 19), daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra will be performing a gangsta rap version of the 19th century German composer's “The Ring Cycle” at California Plaza.
Composer-conductor Geoff Gallegos is hoping “some old, conservative white racist punkass [will] come see us play because it's at Symphony Hall and then maybe open his mind to other people and other things. And vice versa.”
This isn't the first time the hip-hop and classical genres have come together. Remember R. Kelly's genius hip-hopera “Trapped In the Closet”? (And a while back I wrote about this guy, Paul Dateh, a hip-hop violinist.)
I'm guessing the hip-hop version isn't going to be 15 hours long like the original Ring Cycle. I also wonder if they've changed all the Norse god characters into characters from the gangsta rap pantheon. In addition to the classic wind and string instruments, there will be MCs and turntables. It's what Wagner would have wrote if he'd been alive today, supposedly. It's an interesting idea. Classical (as in 19th century classical) and hip-hop, particularly gangsta rap, share a kind of epic, melodramatic sensibility. Everything is life or death and bombast and intense emotion.
Anyway, the performance is free. Leave your gats and your cellos at home.
More info here.