|'Gotterdammerung' fans flames Feb. 11
The 2011-12 season of the Met Opera Live in HD continues with the Met's new production of Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive Street in Newport.
Because of the long running time of this opera (approximately six-and-a-half hours with two intermissions), the Champagne Patio Restaurant will provide "Opera Box" lunches for patrons who order them prior to the start of the opera (see next column for more information about prices and menu choices).
Deborah Voigt and Jay Hunter Morris star in the final installment of Robert Lepage's new production of the Ring cycle, conducted by Fabio Luisi. The 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 (played by Voigt), in the legendary Immolation Scene that brings the cycle to a close, to restore balance to the world.
At night on the Valkyries’ rock, the three Norns, daughters of Erda, weave the rope of destiny. They tell how Wotan ordered the world ash tree, from which his spear was once cut, to be felled and its wood piled around Valhalla. The burning of the pyre will mark the end of the old order. Suddenly the rope breaks. Their wisdom ended, the Norns descend into the earth.
Dawn breaks and Siegfried and Brünnhilde emerge. Having cast protective spells on him, she sends him into the world to do heroic deeds. As a pledge of his love, Siegfried gives her the ring he took from the dragon Fafner, and she offers her horse, Grane, in return. Siegfried sets off on his travels – and we go along for the ride!
Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA), OCCA members, season benefactors and individual opera hosts are proud to present this season. "Gotterdammerung" is hosted by Alex del Vecchio (see next column for more). Contact Catherine Rickbone to find out more about hosting an opera.
If you want more of the story, click here to visit the OCCA website and read a synopsis of "Gotterdammerung" issued by the Met.
The Metropolitan Opera has also created a new website focusing exclusively on Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle). Check the next column for more information.
Tickets and information
Ticket prices are $20 for reserved general admission seating, $17 for seniors, and $10 for students. Casting for the performances is subject to change without notice; for the most current information, call the Newport Performing Arts Center box office at 888-701-7123 or 541-265-2787, or visit the Coast Arts website.
Next up: 'Ernani' at 10am Feb. 25
Angela Meade takes center stage in Verdi’s thrilling early gem. Salvatore Licitra is her mismatched lover, and all-star Verdians Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto round out the cast. Marco Armiliato conducts.
This new production, showing at the PAC at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, is hosted by Kay Moxness. Run time is approximately four hours, with two intermissions.
|About your host
Growing up in New York City in the 1940’s and ’50’s, I could have been exposed to all kinds of classical music – but I wasn’t. Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, etc. were my parents’ choice of composers/musicians.
However, in 1962 my life changed. I got a job in the secretarial pool of a major corporation, met a part-time older secretary who was an opera buff, was in fact a Wagner fanatic who traveled to Europe every summer on the opera trail, always winding up at the cathedral of Bayreuth, where Der Ring des Nibelungen was performed.
She saw an opera lover in me, when I didn’t know it. She took me to my first opera at the Old Met, years before Lincoln Center was built. And then we went to the new opera house, once or twice a month, always with the intent of training my ear until the moment I could be trusted to hear Wagner, her god of composers. My first Wagner opera was The Flying Dutchman, the next was Tristan and Isolde, then Parsifal, and Meistersinger, then the individual operas of the Ring Cycle, finally the Ring Cycle performed in successive days. My teacher was not disappointed; neither was I. From the very first notes, I knew Wagner was different; psychology and mythology, my heart, my blood, my imagination, my soul could tell.
That early introduction changed my life. I began seriously studying opera, attending as often as I could, visiting opera houses in many cities and countries, to see all operas but most importantly those of Wagner. The secretarial pool started it all.
– Alex del Vecchio
'Gotterdammerung' opera box lunches
Because of the long running time of "Gotterdammerung," which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 11, the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts has contracted with Champagne Patio restaurant in Newport to provide a light box lunch.
The "Champagne Patio Opera Box" will consist of a tossed green salad with ranch-style dressing on the side, fruit, and your choice of ham, ham-and-cheese, cheese, or braunschweiger (liverwurst) sandwich for $8.
Order your "opera box" when you arrive on the morning of the event.
Above: Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde in "Die Walkure."
New Ring Cycle website
The Metropolitan Opera has created a new website focusing entirely on the Ring Cycle
. Learn about the myths Wagner explores in each opera, and see details of the characters, costumes, and even leitmoifs of principal players in these amazing stories.