Don't Miss Wagner's Complete Ring On PBS September 11 To 14 !
If you've never experienced Richard Wagner's stupendous "Ring of the Nibelungen " cycle before , you will have your chance beginning next September 11 through 14 on PBS . This mind-boggling apocalyptic operatic epic is certainly a daunting experience for opera newbies, but there will be English subtitles and you can easily google the complete plot . Wikipedia is a good source for this . PBS is presenting the controversial recent Met production with computer-generated special effects by the renowned Canadian director Robert Lepage , and the conducting duties are shared by James Levine and recently appointed Met principal conductor Fabio Luisi, who had to step in because of Levine's protracted ailments , and many of today's leading Wagner singers will be in the cast, including Deborah Voigt, Bryn terfel, Stepahnie Blythe, Eric Owens , Waltraud Meier and Jonas Kauffmann in the very large cast .
Wagner's gargantuan epic cycle of four operas , or "music dramas" as he preferred to call them , is based on Germanic and norse mythology , complete with gods, goddesses, superheroes, giants, dwarfs, Valkyries on magic steeds , water nixies, a ferocious dragon, a magic sword, and a magic helmet which enables you to become a shape shifter , among other cool things. But the central object in the story is a fateful golden ring made from the magic gold of the river Rhine which gives its owner supreme power over everyone and everything. But there's one catch - there is a terrible curse attached to it which leads to the death and destruction of any one who possesses it .
Does this sound vaguely like Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and the movie series ? Well, sort of , but not exactly . The end of the cycle, called "Twilight of the Gods," ends with the death of the superhero Siegfried and the destruction of the gods, who have been corrupted by the lust for power of their chief god, Wotan (Odin in Scandinavian mythology ) as Valhalla , their mighty abode in the skies burns and th eRhine overflows its banks, flooding the earth . It's an awesome, apocaplyptic ending .
Wagner's stupendous music far surpasses any of the film scores by hollywood composers , as skillfull and effective as they are . You wil also be able to experience this Ring through streaming at the Met's website metopera.org , and later on DVDs when it comes out . Wagner's Ring is like nothing you have ever experienced before ! The four parts of the Rng are "Das Rheingold " (The Rhinegold,) "Die Walkure".(The Valkyrie), "Siegfried" , and "Gotterdammerunf" (Twilight pof the gods). It's about 16 hours of music spread over four evenings , but an experience not to be missed !