Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brush up your Wagner

Many devotees of the Metropolitan Opera's movie-theater showings have been following the installment-plan presentation of Richard Wagner's epic "The Ring of the Nibelung." Part 3 of the epic cycle, "Siegfried," beams into theaters Nov. 5. If you're a real Wagner fan, you can get a jump on it Thursday, Oct. 27.

Listen in on the Met's website as the new production of "Siegfried" premieres, beginning at 6 p.m. Obviously, you won't be able to see how director Robert Lepage uses his staging's most famous component: the 45-ton set, a mechanical contraption that has turned out to be as temperamental as any prima donna. (A computer glitch held up the movie-theater relay of Part 2, "The Valkyrie," for about 45 minutes. Do you suppose any human diva has ever done that?)

Unless you're a hardcore Wagner buff, though, you can probably use a refresher before going out to Stonecrest or Concord Mills on Nov. 5. "Siegfried," the next-to-last opera in Wagner's 19-hour saga of gods and monsters, introduces the hero bred to untangle the mess the gods have gotten themselves into. But there's far more to it than I can summarize here.

Assuming that the set cooperates, "Siegfried" will run from 6 p.m. to about 11:30. If you happen to be tied up early in the evening, there's good news: the juiciest part is the last half-hour. That's when Siegfried discovers Brünnhilde, the warrior maiden put into a magic slumber at the end of "Valkyrie." He wakes her and they instantly fall in love. If you're still up around 11 p.m., it could make a nice bedtime story.

Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera


Anonymous said...

I love to see the looks of righteous indignation when it is not pronounced "Vaahg-nehr".