Get a Backstage Look at the Metropolitan Opera’s Epic Ring Cycle

Classic Arts News   Get a Backstage Look at the Metropolitan Opera’s Epic Ring Cycle
Wagner’s four-part, 18-hour saga returns to the Met, with the 45-ton set known as the “machine.”
6 The gods enter Valhalla at the end of Das Rheingold - photo Ken Howard for the Met.jpg
Das Rheingold Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

The Ring cycle is back at the Metropolitan Opera this spring, alluring Wagner die-hards to the New York house with “Hojotoho”-ing Valkyries, rainbow bridges, and the 45-ton centerpiece known ominously as “the machine.”

This marks the first revival of Robert Lepage’s ambitious production in six seasons. Since then, the machine—consisting of 24 metal planks rising, falling, and turning throughout—has been recalibrated and updated for a smoother (and quieter) ride. The automated beams, with the aid of video projections and some old-fashioned manpower, collectively shape Wagner’s myriad mythic settings.

READ: The Met Opera Revives Robert Lepage's Hi-Tech Staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle

The four-part epic, clocking in around 18 hours, will be presented in three complete cycles, with two additional performances of the second: Die Walküre (including a March 30 Live in HD presentation in movie theatres around the world).

Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the massive production, including some stage glimpses of Das Rheingold, in the gallery below.

Christine Georke makes her Met role debut as Brünnhilde in the 2019 cycles; the cast also includes Stuard Skelton, Greer Grimsley, Jamie Barton, Eva Maria Westbroek, Andreas Schager, Stefan Vinke, Eric Owens, and Tomasz Konieczny.

Philippe Jordan conducts all performances.

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