Wagner's Dream (2012)
The stakes could not be higher as one of the theater's finest stage directors teams up with one of the world's leading opera companies to tackle opera's most monumental challenge: a new production of Wagner's Ring cycle-the four-part, 16-hour work that the composer first presented in 1876. Wagner's Dream takes you deep into the artistic and musical challenges of the epic work. Visionary director Robert Lepage begins a five-year journey to create the most ambitious staging in Metropolitan Opera history, featuring a 90,000-pound set ("The Machine") designed to realize all of Wagner's scenic instructions. The film follows heroic singers from rehearsals to performance as they take on many of the most daunting roles in opera. An intimate look at the challenges of live theater and the risks that must be taken, the documentary chronicles the tremendous creativity and unflagging determination behind this daring attempt to realize Wagner's dream of a perfect Ring. … More
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Critic Reviews for Wagner's Dream
You don't need to be a fan of Wagner, or even opera, to find this a fascinating glimpse of a dauntingly complex human endeavor.
The result is an engrossing chronicle of creative people under pressure, a movie about the madness of opera for which no knowledge of opera is required for full enjoyment.
It's a bit startling that director Susan FrŲemke would choose to make a documentary about the set.
The finished "Ring" cycle, a combination of "myth, science and legend" made to order as Wagner imagined it, was unique to every viewer's eye. The making of it will be spellbinding to everyone.
[A] 16-hour, four-opera masterwork about the creation and destruction of the world, a work that Wagner considered unstageable in his time.
Marvelously candid documentary depicting the creation of a massive, seemingly foolhardy pipe dream of a production. One of a handful of truly fine movies about opera.
The title of Susan Froemke's documentary is both an expression of aspiration and a statement of achievement.
Richard Wagner would be overjoyed to see a production of his Ring cycle staged in a manner that was impossible in the 19th Century.
The first hour here is the most fascinating, as Froemke details the nuts and bolts of getting this massive undertaking off the ground. Once we get past the opening night of the first opera in the cycle, things start to get repetitive.
What Froemke's film does - or at least did for this Wagner novice - is prompt the urgent itch to see Lepage's take on the Ring, see another, and gain the confidence to judge first-hand.
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