GP at the Met: Wagner’s Ring Cycle
About the Opera

Robert Lepage’s acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, will air on Great Performances at the Met, September 11-14 in primetime each night on PBS stations (check local listings), as a major television event.

The operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walkűre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung — will be preceded on Monday, September 10 at 9 p.m. (check local listings) by the airing of award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke’s documentary Wagner’s Dream, which chronicles the backstage story of the creation of this ambitious new staging. (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the programs at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 p.m. on Friday.)

This is only the third time a complete Ring cycle has been aired on PBS. In 1983, Great Performances aired Patrice Chereau’s production of the Ring conducted by Pierre Boulez from the Bayreuth Festival, and in 1990, Live from the Met (the precursor of Great Performances at the Met) presented Otto Schenk’s Metropolitan Opera production, conducted by James Levine.

Both the operas and the documentary will be screened in movie theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada this spring and summer , and in more than 20 countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Deborah Voigt in the role of Brünnhilde

Deborah Voigt in the role of Brünnhilde

Wagner’s Dream

A documentary by Susan Froemke

(PBS: Monday, September 10, 9 p.m.)

The stakes could not be higher as visionary director Robert Lepage, some of the world’s greatest operatic artists, and the Metropolitan Opera tackle Wagner’s Ring cycle. An intimate look at the enormous theatrical and musical challenges of staging opera’s most monumental work, the film chronicles the quest to fulfill Wagner’s dream of a perfect Ring.

“A highly entertaining outing for operaphiles and operaphobes alike” (Variety)

Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)

(PBS: Tuesday, September 11, 9 p.m.)

Conducted by James Levine

Starring Wendy Bryn Harmer (Freia), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Richard Croft (Loge), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Eric Owens (Alberich), Franz-Josef Selig (Fasolt), Hans-Peter König (Fafner)

In the first opera in the Ring cycle, the gods of Valhalla clash with underworld dwarves and brawny giants, with disastrous consequences. The evil Alberich steals gold from the Rhine and uses it to forge a ring of unimaginable power. Wotan, the king of the gods, uses magic to steal the ring, but Alberich places a curse that guarantees misery for whoever wears it.  Wotan’s unwillingness to part with the ring leads him to break a contract with the giants who have built the gods’ new castle in the sky, setting in motion a chain of events that will end in his own destruction.

“A triumph, at once subtle and spectacular, intimate and epic.” (The Telegraph)

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)

(PBS: Wednesday, September 12, 9 p.m.)

Conducted by James Levine

Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Hans-Peter König (Hunding)

The mysterious hero Siegmund finds shelter in the strangely familiar arms of a lonely woman named Sieglinde. Their forbidden love leads Wotan’s daughter, the warrior maiden Brünnhilde, to defy morality and intervene on behalf of the hero. Brünnhilde’s transgression forces her father to choose between his love for his favorite daughter and his duty to his wife, the formidable goddess Fricka. Overcome with grief, Wotan takes away Brünnhilde’s godlike powers and puts her to sleep on a mountaintop, surrounded by a ring of magic fire that can only be crossed by the bravest of heroes.

Die Walküre enthralls.” (The Huffington Post)

Siegfried

(PBS: Thursday, September 13, 9 p.m.)

Conducted by Fabio Luisi

Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (The Wanderer), Eric Owens (Alberich)

The young hero Siegfried grows up in the wilderness, raised by Alberich’s conniving brother Mime. He puts together the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, uses it to slay the fearsome dragon Fafner, and takes the ring for himself. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome one more opponent—Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, who knows the world of the gods is coming to an end—and cross through the magic fire to awaken his true love, Brünnhilde.

“Visually stunning and dramatically engrossing.” (Associated Press)

Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)

(PBS: Friday, September 14, 9 p.m.)

Conducted by Fabio Luisi

Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Wendy Bryn Harmer (Gutrune), Waltraud Meier (Waltraute), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Iain Paterson (Gunther), Eric Owens (Alberich), Hans-Peter König (Hagen)

Siegfried and Brünnhilde’s love is torn apart by the curse of the ring. A trio of scheming humans separates the two heroes in a desperate attempt to steal the ring for themselves. Their villainous plan fails, but they succeed in murdering Siegfried. Heartbroken, Brünnhilde takes the ring and leaps into the hero’s funeral pyre, causing a global cataclysm and the twilight of the gods.

“The most theatrically effective staging of the four works in this epic series.” (The New York Times)

Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.

Gary Halvorson directs the telecasts.

Major funding for the telecast is provided by Gilbert S. Kahn & John J. Noffo Kahn Foundation and Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.  This Great Performances presentation is funded by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Irene Diamond Fund, Vivian Milstein, Annaliese Soros and the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation.

For the Met, Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

  • MC Gibson

    This was a brilliant production and it is wonderful that we will be able to see it on PBS in September. Thank you!

  • William Everett

    Are you putting this production out on DVD or Blueray, and if so, WHEN?

    W. C, Everett

  • Mark Bloom

    This was not the Ring for the ages, to put it mildly, but a Ring on PBS is a good thing.

  • Sheila Clemett

    Jay Hunter Morris is the definitive Siegfried. This broadcast will be historic.

  • CURT

    When I saw it in the theatres last month, they had a placard saying that dvd/bluray/cd would be released in late fall this year.

  • J Peter Aube

    This is a wonderful gift from both the Metropolitan Opera and PBS.
    We should be very thankful.

  • Martin Angerman

    I hope they show this in Los Angeles.

    So far, they have only shown 1 out of 8 GP at the Met performances this season.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    This is WONDERFUL news. I missed “Das Rheingold” when it was shown locally in HD, so finally I’ll be able to see it … and then immerse myself once again in the glories of “Die Walküre,” “Siegfried,” and “Götterdämmerung.” I know there were some Wagner purists and stuffy opera critics who castigated Robert LePage’s production, but I thought it was wonderful, and it was especially well-miked. I had a BLAST.

  • Zoltan Glied

    September 11
    5 discs from Deutsche Grammophon

  • steven scuderi

    The Met Opera Centennial 1983 was split over 2 showings at PBS Chicago WTTW, only part of it live, only PBS in the US to do so, and this is along with other major non-traditonal schedules for the better quality programming over the years, thus many folks miss out with program schedules differing than the generally advertised, you’d think we were in a town of 45 people not Chicago, thus I have never given a $ to them nor the pityuful WFMT radio and I pray constantly for them to go belly up. I had used vacation time in 83 for the Met TV spectacular and missed it due to reruns on pbs ch. 11 chicago that day and they will never be forgiven./Thanks, S the odd hour shift worker that misses much on tv.

  • Brian Torres

    Do not assume that the entire nation will be able to see these…my local PBS station in Buffalo has decided not to air them. ;-(

  • Susan Menich

    Channel 30 in Atlanta is not airing these, either. I’m feeling quite put out. The HD simulcasts were well attended here (at least in the theater I attended), so I think there’d be demand to see them on TV. I don’t know if the decision was due to time or money, but if it’s time, why don’t they just air the operas overnight ? I’d be more than happy to record on DVR and watch later, which is what I was going to do anyway since sitting for 4 – 6 hours for several evenings straight wasn’t going to work for me .

  • Frank Benson

    Apparently we here near Hartford CT will be getting only Das Rheingold! WHY? We get so few of the Met broadcasts on CPTV. I was hoping for a complete ring. Silly me! Contributions will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Sharon E

    So pleased for PBS. We saw all four operas and the Wagner’s Dream in HD last opera season and I’m excited to see them again. The construction of the set is worth the time spent to watch Wagner’s Dream.

  • regina m

    I was thrilled to see this opera coming to PBS. My excitement didnt last long. when I realized that the Democratic Convention was going to interupt the opera/ I will miss it all. I wonder if there is going to be a reairing of these
    great performaces…………I hope to find a contact . someone must know.
    regina

  • zappafrank

    Awesome! Watched Götterdämmerung in theaters and it was amazing. Can’t wait for this.

  • Nancy D

    Dear William:

    Make a beeline for Amazon.com-it is being issued both in blue-ray, and regular dvd format this month(september) in a few weeks-to coincide with the broadcast!

    I’ve already reserved my copy!

  • daviesnancy

    Granted, the “Big Machine” set was a little scary to watch as the Valkyries rode it, and as Brunnhilde was lowered head-first down the set., but to really understand the concepts behind it’s making, you gotta watch Wagner’s Dream, to catch the Icelandic geology refererences, etc. not to mention the literary background.

    Sure, it’s not exactly the ideal Ring, but with a hot young cast in the major roles, it was a production with cojones! Very human Ring, you understand why Alberich stole the gold, he was bullied where it hurts, and you
    can see his thoughts turn to the dark side. This is a very human Ring, with Bryn Terfel’s marvelous portrayal of Wotan’s conflicted emotions. Jay Hunter morris and Eric Owens-wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jons Kauffman-WoW!!!!!

  • tony

    I CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THIS GREAT WORK OF WAGNER/I SAW IT AT THE MET/AND AT THE SHOW..JAY HUNTER MORRIS WAS OUTSTANDING…THE PRODUCTION WAS A GREAT UNDERTAKING BY THE CREW AT THE MET..A GREAT JOB WELL DONE….ALL OF NEW YORK/CT WILL HAVE ARE TV’S READY FOR THE RING ON SEPT/10/AT 9PM…THANK YOU PBS/13….

  • david ernst

    Dear Regina,

    You’re in luck because Wagner’s Ring does NOT take place during the Democratic Convention which is this week. Wagner’s Ring airs next week starting with the behind-the-scenes documentary Wagner’s Dream, September 10th and the Ring cycle following September 11th through the 14th. We hope you stay tuned!

  • Martha Ann Stegar

    I am so ANGRY that neither Channel 8 nor Channel 30 in Atlanta will be showing the operas. In fact, they seldom show anything good anymore–just reruns of Antique Roadshow, various self-help, financial and health gurus, and old programs of Nature and Nova that I’ve already watched over and over. Why do I keep on renewing my membership every year?

  • Brian

    As I said in an earlier post, the entire PBS stations are not airing the Ring…only a handful of them. PBS should have insisted it be a network airing and not just for a few…shame on PBS

  • david ernst

    Hi Brian,

    We advise you contact your local PBS affiliate. Perhaps they are just delaying the broadcasts to another time slot or week. Regardless, your voice does matter. It’s always important to let your local station know you care about arts programming. We thank you for your support of GREAT PERFORMANCES and GP @ the Met.

  • R. Lavallee

    Will PBS make these broadcasts available on the web site for streaming at a later date?

  • Jane

    Will it be possible to watch online?

  • Mary

    Evidently our PBS stations in Milwaukee have decided the Cycle wouldn’t be popular in our backward city. Funny–the theater showing the simulcasts was a sell-out.

  • Susan

    I am so disappointed that this is not being aired in Los Angeles.
    It’s just outrageous…

  • Suzanne

    Are there rebroadcasts later in the week for the sleep deprived?

  • Don Warner Saklad

    When are Repeats?… for
    a) Wagner’s Dream?…
    b) Das Rheingold?…
    c) Die Walkure?…
    d) Siegfried?…
    e) Gotterdammerung?…

  • Jo Ann Stevenson

    Here in North Texas, Fort Worth and Dallas rarely present anything by Wagner. I have been on an opera desert for literally decades. Thank you PBS. Thank you, thank you. Aaah, the French horns; oooh, the Walkyrie on the fields of honor; yumm, the incredible duets. Life is good!

  • Anne

    Neither PBS affiliate serving the Tampa viewing area (WUSF or WEDU) has chosen to air the Ring Cycle. I’ll head to Amazon :-(

  • david ernst

    Hi Jane,

    Wagner’s Ring will not be available on PBS online. However, after the broadcasts you may want to visit the Met Opera’s website to see what they may have to offer.

    Hope you find this info helpful.

  • Jeff

    I am so unhappy that this is not going to be played in LA! What is wrong with the stations that they pass on this performance.

    Here’s an idea….why don’t we just air Jersey Shore or Real Housewives?

    Or better yet…..

    Since the people of LA are too Stupid to Understand or Appreciate Wagner….we all just watch The Voice or America’s got Talent.

    I am livid.

  • KurtRexCooper

    Saw them (except Gotterdamerung, alas) at the movie theater. Simply spectacular.

  • Susan

    Oh, just learned KOCE will show the ring cycle on consecutive sundays, starting on Sept. 16!!
    Yay!
    Doesn’t sound like they are airing Wagner’s Dream, so I ordered it from Amazon…
    So yes, the Ring Cycle will be on the air in southern California!

  • Betsy Herringf

    This is so exiciting to have this production available. Anyone that has not seen the Ring should watch a little of it and you will be hooked into the enchantment of the story. Then you will be further persuaded by the vocal performances and beauty of this music. It is truly wonderful in every way.

  • Chris Ramsay

    I thank MPBN up here in Maine !!!! Wagner for the next four nights !!!

  • Barbara Vernon

    THANK YOU NETV!!!!!!! We Nebraskans may live along ways from the Met, but we love opera and the chance to watch Wagner’s Dream tonight was stupendous. I can hardly wait for the full opera the next 4 nights. Wagner has always been my most favorite composer and this is a dream come true.

  • thomasanswered

    Agreed, it’s not a “Ring for the Ages”. Every new production will have a mob willing to declare it the greatest thing. Better not to deal in such comparatives but be happy that PBS, which increasingly gives itself to non-traditional artistic productions, is willing still to play Wagner.

  • Richard D. Herr

    WONDERFUL
    Can we purchase DVDs??? When? How?

  • David Fignessen

    As a Norwegian/Danish descendant, I have always been hugely proud of my Nordic heritage. Now, great Performances had brought the mot amazing version of Wagner’s magnificent opera to the masses. I have already told my family, that nothing short of Ragnarock will prevent me from watching this program for the next four days. Many thanks to PBS, and Great Performances from the Met, and to the amazing vision of its producers for having the strength, the love and the technology to bring this story to the small screen the way Wagner would have liked it to ave been performed in his day. I am sure he is looking down from Valhalla, with tears of joy in his eyes.

  • Neva Pruess

    Ditto to Barbara Vernons post. Nebraska NETV is broadcasting the whole week on the statewide network. It can be seen in every tiny town and ranch. I am saddened to see how many big city areas are not going to see this. Los Angeles certainly needed to see it as a contrast to L.A. Opera’s super weird production.

  • Robyn M.

    Thanks so much for putting this on air! I feel so fortunate to be able to see the entire Ring Cycle starting tonight. Many thanks again! I will most definitely enjoy Wagner’s amazing Ring Cycle!

  • MelaDee

    I was so excited to see the programming for our station here in South Dakota!! We watched “Wagner’s Dream” last night. I saw it at our movie theater here when it came out, but my husband didn’t get to see it. We watched with joy, as our daughter on the show – she is one of the Valkyries! We were at the opening night of “Die Walkure” to hear her sing and watch her ride ‘the machine’, but so many people here that are friends that know her couldn’t come to New York – so I am so very grateful that they can watch her on TV!!!!!!

  • Barry Allen

    Martin – KOCE is going to spread the cycle over 4 Sundays starting this Sunday at Noon. I have complained for what little good it does. This is so third rate for the 2nd largest TV market in the country.

  • Leonard Lanier

    While I’m somewhat satisfied that UNC-TV decided to air Wagner’s Ring Cycle, I’m NOT happy that they relegated the broadcast to their Standard Definition secondary channel, UNC-EX. What’s on the principal High Definition channel? A repeat pledge-drive broadcast of Celtic Woman for seemingly the millionth time. And the local PBS affiliate wonders why people give less to the station than they have in the past.

  • Susie in NY

    Thank you for these broadcasts! But, PLEASE, run the crawl for the credits at the end a little slower. It is impossible to read and disrespectful of all involved.

  • R Huston

    Watched Das Rheingold tonight and it was stunning in terms of production values and singing. And yes, I agree with Susie, run those credits a bit slower so we can see who’s who.

  • Larry in Montclair, NJ

    Beautiful performance of Wagner;s Dream and Das Rheingold. Yes, please slow down the credit roll. Unreadable as is.

  • Warren S

    Only in MEDFORD, OREGON would they broadcast Being Elmo instead of Great Performances at the MET’s Ring Cycle.I guess the yahoo’s in Medford, Oregon have no appreciation of cultureSouthern Oregon Publc Televiision should be ashamed of itself for not broadcasting te Ring Cycle. Public television is suppose to be about quality programming. Nothing against Elmo., but Elmo really cannot compete with Wagner.

  • Shanon Sara

    Imagine the disappointment of turning on my local PBS station to find a repeat of the funniest moments from Laugh-in instead of Das Rheingold. Alas, Seattle, which just premiered a brilliant (and sold out) new Turandot, does not apparently have the pull to get this telecast.

  • Jean in Seattle

    Well, it’s not just Medford Oregon. It’s also SEATTLE that has dubious judgement. I just phoned my PBS station here in Seattle, to say how disappointed I am that they are airing a program about Laugh-In, one they’ve aired several times this week, instead of the Ring. This is a city where folks love the Ring and there are many people who would love an introduction to it in preparation for next summer’s Seattle Opera production. I loved the HD Met broadcasts when I saw them in theaters and was really looking forward to seeing them again. Kudos to PBS; I just wish my local station shared their values.

  • Bob Zoeller

    It blows my mind Milwaukee PBS is apparently passing on this. We fortunately saw it in the theater version here.

  • David Fignessen

    I watched the first night of the Ring and have just one word to say……..MAGNIFICENT! I have already told my wife, that Santa better have the DVD boxed set under our Christmas tree this year, or this Norseman will be just as angry as The God of Thunder! If the remaining segments are even half as entertaining as the first night, I can see me wearing it out, playing it on my DVD player. The cast was incredible, and Bryn is my new favorite Wotan. I am hoping Ms. Voight does justice to Brunhilde in Die Walkure, but I do not feel I will be disappointed. I agree with the rest of the posters, slow the credits down so we can give the accolades to those who completely deserve them!

  • Benjamin C. Micale

    Does the performance of Das reingold last more than three hours?

  • david ernst

    Dear Susie and other fans re: the closing credit crawl -

    As you may have noticed, the Ring operas can run a tad long. Due to the fact that the producers have to fit the programs within a proscribed TV time of 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 for Gotterdammerung etc… every second counts in order to save space for the opera itself! Even without the dramatic length of these operas, PBS programs usually require the credits to be between 40 seconds to 1 minute. All of this is not to sleight the artists in any way, it is merely to ensure that the program fits in its scheduled time slot.

    And all major performers can be seen on a much more leisurely scroll during the opening credits of each opera program, so make sure you tune in right at the start!

    Hope this helps clarify things.

  • Kathy Achee

    I’m so thankful to be able to watch this amazing production on PBS in North Idaho; how magnificent!

  • Frank S

    Watched “Das Rheingold” last night. Magnificent! The sets were austere yet awesome. Their seamless transition from one setting to another – together with the lighting – was magical. The ascent into Valhalle at the climax was breathtaking. The acting and singing of every single part was worthy of the Met. I shall be glued to my TV for the next three nights. THANK YOU PBS (anf The MET) for bringing this event to the masses.

  • sandra gentry

    seattle/ what happened to the first episode, “Das Rheingold” ??? the programming shown was “laugh In”; was a major dissapointment!

  • artistswriter

    I am impressed and thrilled that our small NW Arkansas station is showing all of the Ring Cycle. Good taste abides here. There are some advantages to the smaller markets! Thank you PBS and Great Performances at the Met!

  • Paul

    Was Das Rheingold broadcast mono on WNET 13??? someone not flip a switch? Holding out for the Blu-Ray?

    My other channels were and are clearly broadcasting stereo so it was shocking to hear the opera in Mono.

    Could you please shed some light – and hopefully fix this before Walkure.

  • David

    Our friends in the west will be able to see it OK, but we in the east only get the 1st act before Morpheus closes our eyes. What is the point of airing these to run until 1:30am? (And if Walkure runs until then, I find it hard to believe that Siegfried and Gotterdammerung will be over by that hour) Is it so we can record them and watch them later? Just a preview of the DVD? Idiotic.

  • Janice Hegeman

    I am irked that PBS has decided in the past year to telecast the new GP at the MET operas in ‘Full Screen’ instead of ‘Wide Screen/Letter Box’-we are not getting the entire picture telecast in the movie theaters. The proof is in the opening/closing credits (as well as some of the sub-titles) being cut off on the left and right side of the screen. Why spend the $ to convert to ‘Full Screen’ mode? I bet the big contributors & the musician union members aren’t too happy to have their names cut off, or missing!

  • Chris Brinker

    Love watching here in the Baltimore/Washington area, but both MPT and WETA are ‘hiccuping’ during the broadcast. Every 3-5 minutes there is a 10-15 second ‘freeze’ without picture or sound. it’s happened both nights so far. What gives?!

  • Vazir Mukhtar

    I support my local PBS affiliate but remind the staff several times each year and when I send in my pledge about the times they’ve cheated their audience out of a program that got rave reviews elsewhere.

    Fortunately I have friends elsewhere who will gladly (so far) make DVDs of the programs my station considers above the intelligence or cultural preparation of its audience.

    The staging, singing and orchestra playing in the production being broadcast have been excellent so far, though even on my large screen HD TV the far left and right edges of the picture are cut off.

    My mild irritation is nevertheless insignificant when I think how fortunate those of us in coal country are to see operas that some of us have known for 50 years or more and have seen only 2 or 3 times.

  • Vazir Mukhtar

    Delighted with the cast, staging, and orchestra playing. Most grateful to the Met, PBS and the generous people who made the Ring available to so many people. Some of us have known it for more than 40 years but have seen it in its entirety only 3 or 4 times.

    Television or the broadcasts in movie theatres will, of course, never provide the thrill of being in the theatre. Even a handful of technical glitches is no replacement for the bobbing head or the expensive perfume that would make a fine insect repellent.

    Congratulations to all concerned for undertaking a project so ambitious and so rewarding.

  • Kevin Sweeney

    I’m not a huge opera fan, but I am a huge audiophile and videophile, and all I can say is wow! The HD picture is excellent and the sound is simply spectacular. I have never heard sound this good from a TV broadcast. I happened to tune to it last night and now I am addicted. I am watching right now with a very high end home theater setup, and it’s simply fantastic. THANK YOU PBS and THANK YOU KRMJ. For those who are forced to watch and listen in SD, my condolences, you really are missing out.

  • David Fignessen

    The second night of the Ring saga has ended, and all I can say is, Deborah Voight was born to play Brunhilde! This was her first time singing the role, but in my opinion, she was fated by Wotan himself, to sing the role. That is why she was so outstanding. Bryn Terfel was handpicked by the Allfather, for in his own opinion, no one else would do it justice. If the remaining two performances are of the same caliber as the previous, the Great Hall of Valhalla, will be joyous, for the next Millenia!!!

  • Janice Hegeman

    As my earlier note stated, use of ‘Full Screen’ cuts the left & right sides of the shot. During the opera it was most obvious in the wide angle & long shots during the scenes between Deborah Voigt & Jonas Kaufman as well as Voigt & Bryn Terfel- often Voigt would be half in or completely out of view while she was singing! I saw it live in the movie theater & she was in full view in these shots.

  • Mike Horn

    I have truly enjoyed Rhinegold and Valkerie. I find myself frequently comparing this presentation with the presentation of the Ring Cycle on PBS fourteen or fifteen years ago. This set is far more spectacular but I’m undecided whether I like the overall presentation better than the earlier one. I enjoyed the back story about the brass instruments Wagner developed for these operas.

  • Sylvia

    Chris, I’m with you. Enjoying every minute and really appreciate it that MPBN can broadcast such wonderful presentations. I am even more proud to be an Evergreen supporter of Public Broadcasting in Maine.

  • Pat Edmondson

    This production has been spectactular from the outstanding performers, the amazing sets and costumes, the overall production and the film work. Once again WNET and PBS prove they are the best thing on television!

  • Mike Horn

    I watched the over-the-air signal from Nebraska Public TV transmitters at Omaha and Mead and see the full stage and credits with a Panasonic TC-L42E3 with zoom set to “FULL.” Perhaps some transmitters or cable providers are running the signal through a scan converter; resulting in the side cut-offs Janice Hegeman sees.

  • artistswriter

    I so agree. We are getting perfect reception here in Northwest Arkansas, too. I’ve lived most of my life in larger cities (Boston/Washington, D.C./Los Angeles) and am really impressed with the coverage of this opera here. Thanks AETN and PBS!

  • Karen Ryan

    Absolutely spectacular! From Green Bay Wisconsin!!! Breathtaking, stunning, marvelous are but a few words which cannot nearly describe this wonderous production! Must purchase DVD’s! Opera and tailgating DO mix!

  • Kate Jackson

    As a kid I listened to Wagner with my dad….a major classical influence on my life. To see The Ring Series is a real dream come true. Of course, it cannot match my youthful imagination when it come to those Valkyries! But excellent performances all around and a great exotic tone on the scenery. I will have to get the CD for this for Dad! (and me, too!)

    Thank you PBS!

  • Gloria Minott

    Thank you for Wagner’s Ring Series!! The cast is wonderful. I like operas but found Wagnerian operas somewhat arcane and stuffy. I am not a purist. However, this production is a bit of fresh air. The scenery was quite functional and the transitions were effortless. One observation, at times the subtitles were in stiff competition with the costumes especially in Die Walkure so they were hard to read. Thanks to Washington’s WETA for this delightful treat.

  • Jon Varga

    A heartfelt thanks to PBS for presenting Wagner’s entire Ring Cycle! I saw “Die Walkure” last night and it was spectacular – - actually spellbinding. One of the very best performances of this opera that I’ve ever seen.

  • Lloyd Kay

    AGREED, A TERRIFIC SIEGFRIED.

  • Matthew H Constant

    Absolutely wunderbar! The setpiece was pretty cool, too, especially in how it could morph in configuration for the various scenes. This is the best presentation of ANY opera that has ever been offered on public television. Kudos to WNET/Thirteen and PBS for enthralling us with classic Wagnerian opera (and in the original German, no less!)- If only the subtitles were a skosh larger for those who have poor vision….

  • Andre Fiedler

    Would be great if they could start earlier than 9pm. Hard to stay up til 1am 3 nights in a row…

  • cnp

    Great performances which should have all started a 7 or 8 pm.

  • Nelson

    Sadly this wonderful work of operatic magnificence will not be available to me at all. It is neither being broadcast online nor is it available to android users. It is only available to iPad users and users of Apple products. The Ring Cycle is one I will now have to purchase since I am not going to spring for an iPad, nor any Apple product neither will I watch it only once.
    Listening to such a magnificent production is one of life’s pleasures, PBS start thinking about the people who don’t have cable nor want to purchase products from Apple. WE are a large part of your audience!

  • Ann Derby

    But where’s Frodo? Ha ha, just kidding. Seriously, THANK YOU, Houston PBS, for showing these operas (and rebroadcasting each one in early morning hours.) You rock.

    I am loving this production. Visually arresting, simple, mostly beautiful, and “the machine” introduces an element of danger, adding to the drama. Nice cast, except that Siegmund, though he sings well, never looks at Siegelinde. Brava, D. Voigt as Brunnhilde and bravo, Bren Terfel as Wotan. Can’t wait to see Texan Jay Hunter Morris tonight.

  • Allan Vanegas

    Hey, check it out on Amazon.com. The whole production plus Wagner’s Dream is out on bluray and DVD on September 16th……can’t wait to have it! Enjoy….

  • LRK

    Thrilling! I saw Gotterdammerung live at the Met, but am enjoying every night of this. Now, if only PBS would have posted the right starting time on the web site, we would be in business

  • Paul

    The music dramas of the Ring Cycle are not “Wagnerian” operas; they are by Wagner. Just like “The Tempest” is not a Shakespearean play (and what is?). Whereas “Hansel and Gretel” IS a Wagnerian opera (and perhaps the only one).

  • Hal Freeland

    It’s not all that surprising that the relatively small city of Syracuse and surrounding area are enjoying superb scheduling of The Ring on WCNY-TV, given that we have the only full time professional opera company in upstate NY and that affiliated Classic FM has either The Met, Chicago Lyric or LA opera every Saturday of the year and a locally produced following program of related opera works to fill out the time in the afternoon. Regarding The Ring this week, we’re enjoying the primary presentation September 10-14 on both SD and HD channels. On top of that, on the HD channel, Wagner’s Dream has been programmed multiple times throughout this week and next, Das Rheingold was rerun three times before the first appearance of Die Walkure, which was rerun two times before the first appearance of Siegrfried, which will be rerun two times before the first appearance of Gotterdammerung, which will be rerun “only” once on September 15 to end this great coverage. I’ve looked at the schedules of about seven of the top major cities and found none that comes even close to this!!! Kudos to WCNY!

  • Carol Coulter

    Than you PBS in Arizona. The Ring opera cycle has been the best program on TV for many years. We get just one chance to see each episode so our days are getting sleepier.

  • Carol Coulter

    THANK YOU to the sponsors !!

  • JB

    Many thanks to The Met, Thirteen/PBS, the sponsors who make the arts accessable to everyone and KLVX in Las Vegas, NV for the five consecutive nights of operatic bliss.

  • David Fignessen

    In this day and age, the Gods are smiling about these incredible performances. Deborah Voight, Jay Hunter Morris, and Bryn Terfel, have restored the faith of Valhalla, that their saga will not be forgotten. Lapage,Levine, and now, Luisi and the rest of the producers have brought forth an opera event that will endure for many years to come. I have said it before, so not to sound repetetive, ALL these wonderful performers were slated in infancy, to portray these characters when the time was right. And that time IS NOW!!!! I will be able to show these operas to my daughter, and say, look upon these with the pride of being descended from these individuals , and know someone cared enough about their saga, to create their story once again, for us to look upon.

  • Barbara Speer

    Kudos to PBS for broadcasting the entire “Ring” cycle. Having read time and again from critics about the awful “machine”, I was amazed to discover that the “monster” worked very well–at least for these performances. A few times, the set was overly cold…(we could have used more semblance of a hut, for example, home of Sieglinde). But these are minor, compared to the overall effect of grandeur and mythic proportions that the set imparted.
    A few caveats: I hope that the cycle is repeated in the Boston area at an earlier time; a 9pm starting time for a 4-5hour opera is way too late on a weekday night. I’m sure I was not the only person who dozed on and off. Also, the picture on my TV was cropped at the right and left edges, so that I missed the side views. It was particularly noticeable during the credits. If I were singing my heart out for, say, the final act of “Siegrfied” yesterday evening, I would like to see my full name at the end of the production!

  • Linda M

    Thanks to the Met and PBS for this magnificent performance!

  • Thorin

    I’m not usually an opera fan, so I had no idea the Ring Cycle was coming to PBS (it’s the one opera I’ve always wanted to check out). I caught pieces of it on Wednesday and Thursday and was absolutely enthralled. I’d love to see the whole thing.

    Are there any plans to re-air these? Has PBS re-aired Great Performances form the Met in past seasons?

  • Christine Natale

    I also hope that they will air re-runs some day. I missed Das Reingold!!! : (

    Thank you Houston PBS for airing this. And we are fortunate to be on Central Time because ours starts at 8:00!

    The sets worked really well, even if they were kind of an “extra character” in the story.

    Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt are magnificent. I can’t decide who I love most – Jay Hunter Morris or Jonas Kaufman. It’s all about the hair! ; )

    Seriously – Jay Hunter Morris is a wonderful “discovery”! May his career soar to the heights of Valhalla!

  • Tom C

    Am a Wagner performance neophyte, but I started watching Siegfried last night as it began and got totally hooked. The story is mesmerizing and the music, while not particularly pretty, is so masculine and appropriate for the plot. And I LOVED the performer playing Mime — his acting, singing and physicality had me transfixed.

    BUT…is no one else talking about the fact Siegfried looks exactly like WYNONNA JUDD!?! It’s crazy — the wig, that teeny nose, her full-figure, the trademark petulance. I could barely focus on anything else besides his/her wafer thin nose every time Siegfried was on stage. (I say his/her, because I need to see a receipt for gender and/or the fact that may have actually been Wynonna pulling a Victor/Victoria on us.)

    Other than that, like I said, I’ve always known about Wagner, and The Ring Cycle, but I’ve never seen a performance. The PBS broadcast may have made me a convert. Thanks to Toll Brothers for funding and to PBS for airing!

  • Anne F. Kriz

    Thank you, thank you, thank you WXXI in Rochester, NY for broadcasting all of The Ring Cycle operas. They are magnificent..visually and aurally..and just a complete JOY for this singer to be able to enjoy in the comfort of my own family room. I am completely overwhelmed at the quality of this production. The costumes are GORGEOUS, the sound quality with both magnificent orchestras is stunning, the singers..Terkel, Voight, Morris especially are beyond gorgeous..they are truly superb!!! The years of discipline, study and practice are evident to this dedicated amateur, and so very much appreciated. Your hard work has paid off in a magnificent Magnum opus worthy of the great music Wagner composed for all of us to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who had anything to do with this superb production. I loved every minute!!!

  • SVeenker

    Steven, I am blessed to have the North Carolina network playing these productions overnight, so I am recording them The 1983 disappointment lead to a 29-year grudge. Neither WTTW nor WFMT is what they used to be in 1983. In 1974 WTTW ran daily full length replays of the Nixon hearings, pretty gutsy. But that’s no reason to want them to go belly up, I feel. I still listen to WFMT online each day, as I have since 1959. Many broadcast entities who tried to be all things to all people, or just the thing for a few people, have long since disappeared. Fact of life, I fear. We are very fortunate indeed that the Met radio broadcasts continue. So far.

  • Ann Derby

    How funny. I don’t see it. I was thinking that Deb Voigt was channeling Wynonna’s look (it’s the hair and jawline).
    I’ve seen Wy in concert and met her many times; she’s beautiful. I enjoyed Siegfried’s alternating bashfulness and passion in his first encounter with Brunnhilde. Seemed like a Germanic version of a big ol’ Texas boy who can’t believe his good luck. I think they had good chemistry, and are excellent actors as well as singers.

  • Marilyn Dalby

    How fortunate we are in North Idaho to see this wonderful production. Many thanks to PBS & the sponsors. The voices are glorious & the acting excellent. This makes those old Norse tales understandable. Wagner’s music & orchestrations–what a treat. I’m delighted to be able to see these operas again.

  • Steve Cunningham

    Delighted to have this on the Iowa public television network, all in HD. Exceptional image quality and wonderful music. Thank you IPTV and thank you PBS and thank you MET.

  • Rod Haper

    Thank you Wyoming PBS for showing the Ring Cycle in it’s entirety plus the “Wagner’s Dream” intro. I watched every minute of the five broadcasts here in Lander. Thank you PBS and Metropolitan Opera for making this wonderful production available to all of us. I thought the Machine was terrific.

  • Ellen Penrose

    Weighing in from Hawaii. I was absolutely mesmerized by these Ring Cycle performances. I missed a lot because of the lateness of the showings (heavy lids by midnight), but what I did see was stunning, powerful, brilliant in all respects. I’m filled with awe re Wagner, the Met, the cast, the SET, the costumes, the orchestra, and I am still pinching myself that I (who am very un-TV-oriented) even discovered that it was airing. The music from Gotterdammerung last night has been sounding in me all morning! Deepest gratitude to PBS for airing this, and a request (a plea) for it to be aired again, starting earlier (6pm or 7pm).

  • TM

    Just a note to thank the folks at the Community Idea Stations (WCVE) in central Virginia for this week of great opera – something like this Ring Cycle only comes along once in decades. Thanks so much. Great Performances at the Metropolitan Opera has a great lineup for 2012-13. Please run them all.

  • Mike Horn

    I appreciate the cast, sponsors, musicians, and set very much. One thing I appreciate even more is the curtain calls. It seems a tremendous boost to my mental health to see the cast members whose characters were killing each other in the preceding act all well, smiling, and holding hands.

    It seems like curtain calls can be an adult version of Mr. Rogers trolly car that passed through a wall separating reality from make-believe. I see too much on television and in the movies that doesn’t show separation between the real world and make-believe.

  • thomas christian

    THANKS DENVER PBS
    I was unhappy with the Denver PBS station when I saw they were starting to air the Ring operas at 9PM. I didn’t realize so many areas of the country weren’t getting it at all.

  • MKDO

    We in New York, New York were lucky to have these broadcasts but I don’t know what kind of thinking resulted in the wait until 9pm to start Gotterdammerung on Friday night. (Wagner’s Dream, Rheingold, Walkure and Siegfried had at least begun at 8pm locally.)

    All the more bizarre considering that the PBS donation solicitations with a Deborah Voigt interview couldn’t take place until 1:45am Saturday and I doubt that many of us were by then alert enough to go to the phones. Considering that the front-end 8 to 9pm programming on Friday consisted of the usual windy and biased political talking-head exhibitions, this decision seems an unnecessary and exceedingly negative counterbalance to the exceptionally high art of this interpretation. I agree that the production, Lepage’s concept as well as the great performances, is a wonderful gift and for that I sincerely thank PBS.

  • Lawrence Shapiro

    I saw no ads, nothing in the local nespapers (OC Register as well as OC-LA Times). Local PBS screwed up again Tank You-PBS You want my moneyt, but not my advice.

  • Linda Webber

    We live in Antigua and what a joy to see the Ring .Thank you PBS in Miami. PBS brings a little culture to our little island.

  • William Eckloff

    This was my first opera to watch. We are fortunate to have PBS bring it into our home way out here in the northwest wilderness of Heron, MT. I was transfixed to the television for the complete Ring (no phone calls please) and am now a huge fan of opera. I agree with several others that Jay Hunter Morris was a near perfect Siegfried. I especially enjoyed the talents of Hans-Peter Konig in his three roles and Eva-Maria Westbrock as the troubled Sieglinde. Kudos to the stage and technical crew for a grand set. I do hope those who couldn’t watch it in there home towns will be able to buy the dvd and enjoy this special piece of theater!

  • Alex Cielo

    Thank the gods for station WGBH out of Springfield, MA, for showing the entire Ring. The local PBS station in Hartford where I live did not show it , though that’s typical of them. Spectacular performances, from lighting and sets to acting to singing. I’ve seen the Ring twice before on TV when I lived in Oregon and liked it very much, but this version was the best. I’m not sure I want to see another version now!

  • Heinz Wartski

    This proves that Wagner’s Ring should not be performed in a moving lumber yard. Together with the movements required of the singers, there is plenty of motion in Wagner’s music. The only motion involving the scenery should be when it needs to show fire, smoke, rain, etc. Otherwise, the scenery of an opera should not move because motion is inherent in its music.

  • Tanya

    What an amazing show! The staging was so creative and incredibly creative and beautiful. Can’t get enough of it and can watch all 4 over and over again. The best I’ve ever seen

  • sandra

    I missed it and have been told that it was great. When will it be on again or
    When will I be able to view it on the Internet?

  • david ernst

    Hi Sandra,

    Check with your local station to see if they plan any repeats. As the series just aired it might be some time before a repeat is scheduled. Unfortunately, the programs will NOT be available on PBS Online. However, we recommend you visit The Metropolitan Opera’s website for online offerings regarding these operas. We do have 30 minutes of the Ring documentary Wagner’s Dream available at the address below.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/gp-at-the-met-wagner%E2%80%99s-ring-cycle/sneak-preview-wagner%E2%80%99s-dream/1403/

  • George Davis

    I was also upset with wned for deciding not to broadcast the ring cycle.

  • Karen Jones

    I was able to see “Siegfried” and “Gotterdammerung” each within one week here in Los Angeles.
    I hope I didn’t miss a PBS broadcase of “Das Rhinegold” and “Die Valkure!” Did they broadcast
    the first two operas on PBS here in L.A. in early September?! I’ve resolved to purchase the entire
    work on dvd :) THANK YOU PBS FOR BROADCASTING THIS MAGNIFICENT PRODUCTION!

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