asting to type, casting against type — what does it come down to in the end? Faust today, Mephistopheles tomorrow! Why not? For an actor who just talks, the limiting factor is imagination. At the opera, such turnabouts are mostly inconceivable, but not in Der Ring des Nibelungen, where the top god, Wotan, and his nemesis, Alberich, sing in the same range and at the same volume levels, sometimes barely accompanied, sometimes over an orchestra in full cry.