Wagner’s The Ring is big, ambitious, and arguably the greatest work of art ever created.
You heard me Michelangelo.
It is a single 16 hour story told across four operas: Das Rheingold, Gotterdammerung, Die Walkure, and Siegfried
The Ring Cycle begins for me and Chaltin on a rainy morning when I go to pick up tickets for tonights Elektra. I see Ring tickets are now on sale and already beginning to sell out a year in advance and they have to be bought as a package for the section not even a specific seat.
Now, me and Chaltin have been on this amazing opera run, but I don’t know if her feelings are going to be the same for me a year from now, and I can’t imagine going to the Met without her; Not to mention, these are really expensive tickets.
I text her to see what she thinks. Should I buy tickets?
I pop the umbrella and pace around the fountain outside.
I look at my phone.
I look at my phone again.
I walk back to The Met, collapse my green umbrella, boldly push the doors open, and purchase eight opera tickets for Wagners’ Ring Cycle for a year away without knowing for sure how my ‘opera buddy’ is going to feel about this proposal to still be together a year from now.
The man is very nice and types into the notes my preferences that I’d like to be toward the center of family circle. We will be.
I walk outside into a misty late winter rain with $700 worth of tickets in hand feeling both excited and uncertain.
My phone vibrates.
The silence is broken, and I look at my phone.
‘yes. Buy the tickets.’
We make this into an event, buy hats with horns, I prepare picnic lunches, and we have a fantastic time thru all sixteen hours of the Ring Cycle.
Wagner embodied go big or go home, and this was a singular experience I’ll never forget.
So what is the The Ring Cycle all about? It is a story based on German mythology and told over four operas. Basically, it is The Lord of the Rings. Its innovations are so influencial that you probably heard some of them, maybe even today. For example, the music that accompanies Darth Vader or the shark from Jaws are called leitmotifs – that is from Wagner. The Ring itself has over 150 individual leit motifs. Wagner also invented new instruments and dug a pit to put the orchestra so they wouldn’t block the view of the performance.