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Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle (1999)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 108 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

With its four operas, seventeen-hour running time and months of rehearsal, Wagner's "Ring Cycle" is a daunting undertaking for any opera company. Jon Else goes backstage to show this rare ... See full summary »

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Title: Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle (1999)

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Kenneth 'Spike' Kirkland ...
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With its four operas, seventeen-hour running time and months of rehearsal, Wagner's "Ring Cycle" is a daunting undertaking for any opera company. Jon Else goes backstage to show this rare event entirely from the point of view of union stagehands at the San Francisco Opera. Written by <unknown>

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independent film

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January 1999 (USA)  »

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In one scene, the image on a television set from an episode of The Simpsons (1989) was replaced with footage of atom bomb tests that John Else already had the rights to after Fox told him it would cost $10,000 to show the cartoon footage. See more »

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sing slower!
21 April 2004 | by (Missouri) – See all my reviews

Wagner's Ring Cycle is musical nirvana to some; but to others it is the most pretentious, bloated, endlessly boring nonsense ever conceived. Sing Faster takes no real position on the matter, but offers a pragmatic point of view from behind the scenes. The enormity of the San Francisco Opera's project staggers the viewer and the magnificence of the talent impresses, but the stars of the documentary are the stagehands who can do magic with sets and effects while remaining detached enough to play poker or watch the game on TV while one of Western Civilization's greatest spectacles is being recreated. This makes for a fascinating glimpse into the process that is often surreal and hilarious, while still conveying the excitement of the world-class opera company. The singing might be screaming, as one hand explains, but it is often gorgeous. The orchestra is never seen, but provides a continuous soundtrack, courtesy of Richard Wagner, that truly soars. At one hour, the entertainment value never starts to fade. I was hoping they would sing slower!


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