Wagner’s Ring Cycle: A Spectacular 5-Night Operatic Vision
Robert Lepage’s acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, will air on Great Performances at the Met, September 11-14 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS. The operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walkűre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung — will be preceded on Monday, September 10 at 9 p.m. by the airing of award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke’s documentary Wagner’s Dream, which chronicles the backstage story of the creation of this ambitious new staging.
Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Wagner’s Dream – Monday, September 10 at 9:00 p.m.
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.
Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) – Tuesday, September 11 at 9:00 p.m.
The first opera in Richard Wagner‘s Ring cycle, about a power struggle between gods and mortals over a magic ring, begins with the evil dwarf Alberich (Eric Owens) forging a ring of unimaginable power from gold pilfered from the Rhine.
Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) – Wednesday, September 12 at 9:00 p.m.
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.
Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Siegfried – Thursday, September 13 at 9:00 p.m.
The young hero Siegfried grows up in the wilderness, raised by Alberich’s conniving brother Mime. He puts together the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, uses it to slay the fearsome dragon Fafner, and takes the ring for himself. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome one more opponent—Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, who knows the world of the gods is coming to an end—and cross through the magic fire to awaken his true love, Brünnhilde.
Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) – Friday, September 14 at 9:00 p.m.
Siegfried and Brünnhilde’s love is torn apart by the curse of the ring. A trio of scheming humans separates the two heroes in a desperate attempt to steal the ring for themselves. Their villainous plan fails, but they succeed in murdering Siegfried. Heartbroken, Brünnhilde takes the ring and leaps into the hero’s funeral pyre, causing a global cataclysm and the twilight of the gods.