If a film director is to be compared to an all-state Lacrosse champion, then an opera director would be a gold-winner at the Olympics. Or that–bad sport analogy notwithstanding–is what I started to believe after watching the trailer for Wagner’s Dream, an impossibly-complex and grandiose opera whose production was filmed and made into a documentary.
If not an Olympian hopeful, opera director Robert LePage has got to have a little bit of the megalomaniac in him for wanting to accomplish this: the perfect Ring cycle. But he did it. Putting on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, with its many superhuman feats, is not for the faint-hearted. And yet, the show (it took place at the Met) was a thing to remember, apparently.
Adam Goldmann, a correspondent for Gramophone and Opera News Magazine (and Screen Comment contributor) has commented, “mounting a complete Ring Cycle is far and away the greatest challenge for an opera house. There’s nothing else like it in the operatic repertoire, in terms of vocal, musical and scenographic demands. In terms of sheer duration, Wagner’s tetrology is also in a class of its own: fourteen glorious hours of music spread over four days. A successful cycle demands both a director and conductor with enough energy and vision to sustain momentum and balance between the operas’ intimate and epic elements. “
Wagner’s Dream will have its world premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, April 25, followed by its worldwide theatrical release on May 7, a one-day ticketed event as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
(credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)