'The Met: Live in HD' presents the cinematic premiere of Wagner's 'Ring' Cycle
A documentary by Susan Froemke
U.S./Canada Screenings: Monday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. local time
Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
The stakes could not be higher as visionary director Robert Lepage and the Metropolitan Opera tackle Wagner's Ring cycle. A backstage look at the enormous theatrical and musical challenges of staging opera’s most monumental work, the film chronicles the five-year journey to create the most ambitious staging in Met history, featuring a 90,000-pound set nicknamed "The Machine.” Soprano Deborah Voigt is torn between excitement and fear as she prepares to take on the role of Brünnhilde for the first time, while unexpected drama arises as a new tenor, Jay Hunter Morris, steps in as the Ring’s hero, Siegfried – days before the production's world premiere.
Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)
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 evil Alberich steals the gold from the Rhinemaidens and creates an all-powerful ring. Wotan, the ruler of the gods, uses magic to seize the ring to pay for his new palace, Valhalla . Alberich places a curse on the ring and anyone who wears it.
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
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 Siegmund. As punishment, Wotan strips away Brünnhilde’s immortality and places her in a lasting sleep, surrounded by fire.
U.S. Screenings: Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Canada Screenings: Thursday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Running time: 258, including one intermission
Original live transmission: November 5, 2011
The young hero Siegfried, who grows up in the wilderness, forges the magic sword and captures the ring. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome one more opponent—Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, and cross through the magic fire to awaken his true love, Brünnhilde.
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
U.S. Screenings: Saturday, May 19 at 12 p.m.
Canada Screenings: Saturday, May 19 at 10 a.m.
Running time: 287 minutes, including one intermission
Original live transmission: February 11, 2012
In Götterdämmerung, Siegfried’s unwitting betrayal of Brünnhilde leads to his death. Heartbroken, Brünnhilde returns the ring to the Rhinemaidens and throws herself into Siegfried’s funeral pyre, causing a global cataclysm and ending the reign of the gods.