The Metropolitan Opera will present worldwide movie theater screenings of Robert Lepage's new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, as well as Wagner's Dream, a new documentary chronicling the creation of this ambitious new staging. In the United States and Canada, the series will begin tonight, May 7, with a screening of the documentary, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, and continue on May 9 with Das Rheingold, the first opera in the cycle. The entire four-part Ring cycle and documentary will be screened in many countries this spring and summer, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
More details on the screenings are below. Please note that showtimes in some markets may vary. To order tickets or get more information on screening times and locations, visit www.metopera.org/liveinhd.
A documentary by Susan Froemke
U.S./Canada Screenings: Monday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. local time
Running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
The stakes could not be higher as visionary director Robert Lepage, some of the world's greatest operatic artists, and the Metropolitan Opera tackle Wagner's Ring cycle. An intimate look at the enormous theatrical and musical challenges of staging opera's most monumental work, the film chronicles the quest to fulfill Wagner's dream of a perfect Ring.
Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)
Conducted by James Levine
Starring Wendy Bryn Harmer (Freia), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Richard Croft (Loge), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Eric Owens (Alberich), Franz-Josef Selig (Fasolt), Hans-Peter König (Fafner)
U.S./Canada Screenings: Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. local time
Running time: 168 minutes; no intermission
Original live transmission: October 9, 2010
In the first opera in the Ring cycle, the gods of Valhalla clash with underworld dwarves and brawny giants, with disastrous consequences. The evil Alberich steals gold from the Rhine and uses it to forge a ring of unimaginable power. Wotan, the king of the gods, uses magic to steal the Ring, but Alberich places a curse that guarantees misery for whoever wears it. Wotan's unwillingness to part with the ring leads him to break a contract with the giants who have built the gods' new castle in the sky, setting in motion a chain of events that will end in his own destruction.
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
Conducted by James Levine
Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Hans-Peter König (Hunding)
U.S. Screenings: Monday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. local time
Canada Screenings: Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. local time
Running time: 259 minutes, including 1 intermission
Original live transmission: May 14, 2011
The mysterious hero Siegmund finds shelter in the strangely familiar arms of a lonely woman named Sieglinde. Their forbidden love leads Wotan's daughter, the warrior maiden Brünnhilde, to defy morality and intervene on behalf of the hero. Brünnhilde's transgression forces her father to choose between his love for his favorite daughter and his duty to his wife, the formidable goddess Fricka. Overcome with grief, Wotan takes away Brünnhilde's godlike powers and puts her to sleep on a mountaintop, surrounded by a ring of magic fire that can only be crossed by the bravest of heroes.
Conducted by Fabio Luisi
Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (The Wanderer), Eric Owens (Alberich)
U.S. Screenings: Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Canada Screenings: Thursday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.