Wagner's 'Ring' gets a new spin in New York

  • Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident

    Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident

    Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident

    At least two people are dead and 14 injured in a passenger ferry accident off the southern coast of South Korea. (April 16) …

  • Shilpa Shetty Promotes Her Newly Launched Jewellery Line

    Shilpa Shetty Promotes Her Newly Launched Jewellery Line

    Shilpa Shetty Promotes Her Newly Launched Jewellery Line

    Shilpa Shetty, along with her husband Raj Kundra, promoted her newly launched Jewellery Line, Satyug Gold, at a a city event recently. The actress spoke about gold, her fondness for it, and her future plans with the line. Watch the video for an overview of the entire event. …

  • Kannada Remakes

    Kannada Remakes

    Kannada Remakes

    While there are a lot of good films in Kannada coming in in the recent years, the remakes too are coming in. So far, let's take a look at 2014's remakes. …

Retro, futurist, minimalist and powerful, the new production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle was staged in full this month by the New York Metropolitan Opera, giving this classic work a new spin.

The Met says the new version of the four-opera cycle -- "Das Rheingold," "Die Walküre," "Siegfried" and "Götterdämmerung" -- produced by Robert Lepage is "the most ambitious production the Met has ever attempted," weighing in with a budget of $16 million.

Although the four operas have shown separately, Tuesday was the concluding night of a first marathon session in which audiences could watch all 16 hours' worth of performances in a period of just two or three weeks.

Ever since Richard Wagner, who lived from 1813 to 1883, composed the extraordinary work, it has seen countless productions and become embedded in Western culture. What the Met is doing for the first time is in effect to add a new protagonist: the set.

Unofficially dubbed "the machine," it is a huge, moving structure of 24 aluminum planks that resemble a weirdly active piano keyboard.

At 45 tons, it is minimalist but multi-purpose, allowing Lepage to conjure rivers, woods and mountains with nothing more than moving boards.

Although the opera is set in a mythical landscape, the performers appear to have emerged from science fiction films such as "Blade Runner" and "Star Wars."

The cast is highlighted by Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel playing Wotan, US soprano Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde and US tenor Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried. Italy's Fabio Luisi conducts the orchestra.

The choreography features moments of extraordinary visual beauty, such as the dance of nymphs at the start of "Das Rheingold," with dancers floating in front of what appears to be water tumbling down the "machine's" now vertical planks.

Another sublime scene sees the famous "The Ride Of The Valkyries", a part of "Die Walküre," in which the metal planks become the demigods' horses as they gather up fallen heroes on battlefields to bring them to Valhalla.

But Lepage's ambitious device and production in general have come in for torrents of criticism for being clunky and overwhelming.

"Pound for pound, ton for ton, the most witless and wasteful production in modern operatic history," the New Yorker wrote.

But for the Canadian director, rethinking the Wagner cycle is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I try to be extremely respectful of Wagner's storytelling, but in a very modern context. We're trying to see how in our day and age we can tell this classical story in the most complete way," he said in a statement on the Met's website.

"The Ring is one of these rare opportunities that you get to work on such a huge undertaking. It's not just a story, it's not just an opera or a series of operas: it's a cosmos."

Wagner spent 26 years writing the three-part cycle, combining German mythology and an epic medieval poem to tell the story of the struggle for a magical golden ring that will give power to dominate the world.

"Der Ring Des Nibelungen," as the work is collectively titled, made its debut in 1876 in Bayreuth, Germany, where there is a theater specially constructed for Wagner music.

The ongoing Tribeca Film Festival in New York, meanwhile, is showing "Wagner's Dream," a documentary about the Lepage production.

"Shot over five years, filmmaker Susan Froemke's behind-the-scenes documentary captures unprecedented challenges of bringing Lepage's electrifying production to life," publicists said.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

Loading...
  • Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit 4 hours ago
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi informasi mengenai beberapa jenis makanan yang baik untuk tubuh badan anda. …

  • Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan!
    Hana Ahmad - Tupai
    Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan! 4 hours ago
    Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan!

    Masalah lingkaran hitam bawah mata serta kedutan boleh diatasi dengan mengamalkan tips-tips mudah berikut. …

  • Tip fesyen buat si gadis comel
    Azizah Saleh - Tupai
    Tip fesyen buat si gadis comel 23 hours ago
    Tip fesyen buat si gadis comel

    Anda sering digelar gebu, bulat, tembam, comel mahupun 'chubby'? Nah...tutup sahaja telinga anda wahai si gadis anggun lagi bertuah! Ayuh kenali fesyen yang sesuai buat diri anda. …

  • Sanctions-hit Iran triumphs in football's RoboCup
    Cyril Julien - AFP News
    Sanctions-hit Iran triumphs in football's RoboCup 1 hour 27 minutes ago
    Sanctions-hit Iran triumphs in football's RoboCup

    Iran may be lumbered with economic sanctions but that did not stop a local team of robotics experts from sweeping aside German and Dutch rivals in football's RoboCup. On a green felt carpet, five teams -- three German, one Dutch and the other Iranian -- contested RoboCup's 9th edition in Tehran, with the robots trying to prod a red ball into the back of their opponent's net over two 10-minute halves. "The robots are completely autonomous -- we don't have any control on the game and they make …

  • Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan? Thu, Sep 19, 2013 1:54 PM MYT
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?

    Pelat bukanlah disebabkan oleh lidah yang pendek. Apakah punca pelat? …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.