Quick Center for the Arts presents The Met: Live in HD's cinematic premiere of Wagner's "Ring" Cycle


Image: Ring CycleAnd special screening of behind-the-scenes documentary "Wagner's Dream"

Wagner's "Ring" Cycle returns to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. All four of The Met: Live in HD transmissions from the recent Metropolitan Opera House productions by visionary director Robert Lepage receive consecutive encore broadcasts this month, beginning with a screening of Wagner's Dream, a documentary film based on the 'making-of' this new cycle. The Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen features a cast of today's greatest Wagnerian singers, led by Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), and Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund). The four-opera epic is directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and the company's Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. The production premiered at the Met over the course of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was one of the most influential figures of 19th-century music. His idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or "total work of art," combining music, theater, literature, architecture, and other disciplines, has had an impact far beyond the world of opera. The Ring cycle is his masterpiece and took an astounding 26 years to complete. Its story is loosely based on the medieval Icelandic Edda epics and the German Nibelungenlied. The protagonists - Wotan, the king of the gods, his warrior daughter Brünnhilde, and the hero Siegfried - are caught up in the struggle over a magical ring that gives unlimited power.

Image: Ring CycleThe screening schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 17, 2012
6 p.m. - Pre-performance talk with Peter Shimkin in Wien Experimental Theatre
7 p.m. - Wagner's Dream
A new documentary film by Susan Froemke. (Run Time: 1 hour, 55 min)
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.
$15, $12.50 seniors, $10 children/students

Friday, May 18, 2012
5:30 p.m. - Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)
Conceived by Wagner as a prologue to the Ring cycle, Das Rheingold sets forth the dramatic issues that play out in the three subsequent operas. Gold from the depths of the Rhine River is stolen by the dwarf Alberich, who uses it to forge a ring that will give him unlimited power. The theft sets in motion a course of events that will eventually alter the order of the universe. Bryn Terfel as Wotan, lord of the gods, heads the cast.
Conductor: James Levine
Cast: Wendy Bryn Harmer, Stephanie Blythe, Patricia Bardon; Richard Croft, Gerhard Siegel, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens, Franz-Josef Selig, Hans-Peter König.
Original live transmission: October 9, 2010
Run Time: 2 hours, 46 mins. (no intermission)
$20, $18 seniors, $15 children/students

Image: Ring CycleMonday, May 21, 2012
5:30 p.m. - Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
This extraordinarily powerful work of theater focuses on some of the Ring's most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, whose violation of his own laws has jeopardized the gods' rule; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde, who are meant to save the gods; and, above all, his heroic Valkyrie daughter Brünnhilde, who makes a fateful decision that shatters her world. This production marked soprano Deborah Voigt's first performances as Brünnhilde. Bryn Terfel again is Wotan, Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek star as the twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, and Stephanie Blythe sings Fricka.
Conductor: James Levine
Cast: Deborah Voigt, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Stephanie Blythe; Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Hans-Peter König.
Original live transmission: May 14, 2011
Run Time: 4 hours, 15 min. (15 min. intermission)
$20, $18 seniors, $15 children/students

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
5:30 p.m. - Siegfried
Part three of the Ring follows the journey of Siegfried, son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, from naive fearless boy to supreme hero. With the re-forged sword of his father, he conquers magical obstacles to reach his prize, Brünnhilde. Jay Hunter Morris took over the title role, one of the most demanding in the repertoire, days before the production's premiere and reprised his acclaimed portrayal in this live transmission the following week. Deborah Voigt is Brünnhilde and Bryn Terfel sings the Wanderer.
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Cast: Deborah Voigt, Patricia Bardon; Jay Hunter Morris, Gerhard Siegel, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens.
Run Time: 4 hours, 25 mins. (15 min. intermission)
Original live transmission: November 5, 2011

$20, $18 seniors, $15 children/students

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
5:30 p.m. - Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Image: Ring CycleThe Ring cycle concludes with a cataclysmic climax of betrayal and loss as focus shifts from the realm of the gods to the power and ambition of human beings. It is left to Brünnhilde, in the legendary Immolation Scene that brings the cycle to a close, to restore balance to the world. Deborah Voigt stars as Brünnhilde and Jay Hunter Morris is Siegfried - the star-crossed lovers doomed by fate.
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Cast: Deborah Voigt, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Waltraud Meier; Jay Hunter Morris, Iain Paterson, Eric Owens, Hans-Peter König.
Original live transmission: February 11, 2012
Run Time: 4 hours, 48 mins. (15 min. intermission)
$20, $18 seniors, $15 children/students

Bundle Price for all 5 broadcasts: $80 reg., $70 seniors, $60 children/students
Bundle packages cannot be purchased online.
Patrons must call or visit the Box Office for these purchases.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 9, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 295