The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 5, Episode 1

Wagner: Das Rheingold (8 Oct. 2011)

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When Wotan, king of the gods, hired the Giants to build a palace, he didn't have the money to pay them. What to do? Plunder and steal: there is a Ring with limitless power, and that will be his solution. He doesn't know the Ring is cursed.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Bryn Terfel ...
Richard Croft ...
Loge
Eric Owens ...
Alberich
Stephanie Blythe ...
Fricka
Franz-Josef Selig ...
Fasolt
Hans-Peter König ...
Fafner
Wendy Bryn Harmer ...
Freia
Patricia Bardon ...
Erda
Gerhard Siegel ...
Mime
Adam Diegel ...
Froh
Dwayne Croft ...
Donner
Jennifer Johnson ...
Wellgunde
Tamara Mumford ...
Flosshilde
Lisette Oropesa ...
Woglinde
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Gelb ...
Himself - Introduction
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Storyline

When Wotan, king of the gods, hired the Giants to build a palace, he didn't have the money to pay them. What to do? Plunder and steal: there is a Ring with limitless power, and that will be his solution. He doesn't know the Ring is cursed.

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ring | wagner | hd live | classical | See All (4) »

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Release Date:

8 October 2011 (Japan)  »

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16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
Riveting
28 August 2013 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Robert Lepage's central conceit for this production of The Ring is to present it on a single set which consists of 24 slabs that can be rotated to form roads, bridges, staircases, even the bottom of the Rhine. I was reminded of Longborough's shoestring production of Rheingold where all the effects are produced by clever lighting and perspective on a sloping stage. This is basically what Lepage does although his production must have cost several million dollars more.

The sloping slabs make a very effective river on which the Rhine maidens slither in fishnet bodysuits and fishy tails. I particularly liked the way they coiled together for their ensembles. Eric Owens' Alberich is the standout success of this production, his powerful voice and physique making a change from the weedy Alberichs that we sometimes see. His dwarfism is suggested by his clever costume that has the effect of shortening his arms and legs.

Similarly successful are the giants who tower above the other characters simply by standing on the aforementioned slabs. This successfully allows Franz-Josef Selig and Hans-Peter Konig to delineate their characters as Fasolt and Fafner.

Rheingold has a large cast and I cannot mention them all by name but the standard is uniformly high. Tenor Richard Croft is deliciously funny as a Gary Glitter lookalike Loge although he does not quite steal the show as the very best Loges can. Bryn Terfel is surprisingly subdued as Wotan, although this is an opera in which Wotan's role is mainly to play straight man to Loge's comedian. Still, nobody sings quiet menace quite like Bryn.


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