The Metropolitan Opera's new $16 million production of Wagner's Das Rheingold has just opened to mostly positive reviews. Designed by Robert LePage, the elaborate moving set didn't perform quite as well as stars Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe, and Eric Owens.
Yet in many ways, the set - it's often called "the machine" for all its moving parts - drew as much or more attention as the singers.
And no wonder. Anyone who has marveled at the constantly changing, mystifying settings for Cirque de Soleil shows in Las Vegas will recognize the model. And that's no big surprise: LePage is the resident genius of the Quebec-based entertainment operation.
Das Rheingold is the launch of what by 2012 will become the entire Ring of the Nibellungen series by Wagner, the first new production the Met has undertaken in over two decades.
Those inside the opera house paid dearly for this important premiere.
But in Toledo and thousands of opera-loving cities nationally and in Canada, viewing a subsequent screened live performance of Das Rheingold is possible for much less.
Rave Motion Pictures, which now runs nearly all the Toledo cinema screens, recognized the wisdom of continuing the Live in HD series offered by the Met for four previous seasons. Equipment was moved from the Maumee Cinemas Delux (now closed and for sale) to the 14-theater complex at The Shops at Fallen Timbers, just west of I-475 in Maumee. Tickets run $15-$22 in advance at Movietickets.com or at the door.
The season begins at 1 p.m. Saturday and continues with both live and encore performances through May, 2011.
Here's a complete listing including encore dates and (running times).
Das Rheingold: 1 p.m. Oct. 9. Encore 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27. (3 hours) Conducted by James Levine.
Boris Godunov: Noon, Oct. 23. Encore 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 (5 hours) Mussorgsky's drama also in a new Met production with Rene Pape, Ekaterin Semenchuck, Aleksandrs Antonenko. Valery Gergiev conducts.
Don Pasquale: 1 p.m. Nov. 13. Encore 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1. (3 hours 30 minutes) Donizetti's bel canto comedy features Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, John Del Carlo, with Levine conducting.
Don Carlo: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Encore 6:30 p.m. Jan. 5. (5 hours) A new production of Verdi's drama featuring Roberto Alagna, Ferrucio Furlanetto, Ann Smirnova. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts.
La Fanciulla del West (Girl of the Golden West): 1 p.m. Jan. 11; encore 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26. (3 hours 30 minutes). Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani, Lucio Gallo. Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Nixon in China: 1 p.m. Feb. 12; encore 6:30 p.m. March 2. (4 hours). A new Met production of John Adams' contemporary political tale with James Maddalena, Janis Kelly, Kathleen Kim. Adams conducts.
Iphigenie en Tauride: 1 p.m. Feb. 26; encore 6:30 p.m. March 16 (2 hours, 30 minutes) Gluck's beautiful version of the Greek myth with Paul Groves, Susan Graham, Placido Domingo. Patrick Summers conducts.
Lucia di Lammermoor: 1 p.m. March 19; encore 6:30 p.m. April 6. (4 hours) Donizetti's gorgeous tragedy stars Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Kwangchul Youn. Patrick Summers conducts.
Le Comte Ory: 1 p.m. April 9; encore 6:30 p.m. April 27. (3 hours). Rossini's bel canto comedy in a new Met production with Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, and Juan Diego Florez. Maurizio Benini conducts.
Capriccio: 1 p.m. April 23; encore 6:30 p.m. May 11. (3 hours) Strauss's meditative work stars Renee Fleming, Srah Connolly, Joseph Kaiser. Andrew Davis conducts.
Il Trovatore: 1 p.m. April 30; encore 6:30 p.m. May 18. (3 hours) Verdi's intense drama stars Sondra Radvanovsky, Kolora Zajick, Marcelo Alvarez. James Levine conducts.
Die Walkure: noon, May 14; encore 6:30 p.m. June 1. (5 hours, 30 minutes). The second of Robert LePage's new Wagner productions stars Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voight, Stephanie Blythe. James Levine conducts.
Contact Sally Vallongo at email@example.com.