The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Wagner’s “Ring” cycle comes to your home starting Monday night as PBS and Wisconsin Public Television host the Metropolitan Opera’s legendary and controversial new production every night this week. | September 9, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

In case you missed it the first time and want to see and hear it — or in case you want to do so again, PBS and Wisconsin Public Television will air Richard Wagner’s entire mammoth “Ring” cycle every night this week. (Check local times.)

Superstar soprano Deborah Voigt, who sang the role of Brunnhilde (below), will be the host of the series, done by “Great Performances.”

Every night the production starts airing at 8 p.m.

It starts Monday night with “Wagner’s Dream,” a documentary about the ambitious and controversial production — with the complex and npot always reliable set known as The Machine (below) — as staged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and director Robert Lepage. Some of the outstanding singers include Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Deborah Voigt, Jonas Kaufmann and Jay Hunter Morris.

Here is the full schedule:

Monday: “Wagner’s Dream”

Tuesday: “Das Rheingold

Wednesday: “Die Walkure”

Thursday: “Siegfried”

Friday: “Gotterdammerung”

You can check this blog information search site for more stories about it.

I also suggest Googling the various productions by title, especially for critical reviews and previews. Check out especially The New York Times’ various critics, The New Yorker’s Alex Ross and The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette.

It was a historic two-year project at the Met and for the “Met Live in HD”  broadcasts.

And now you can experience it in your home. So, Wagner addicts: Here is your chance for a week-long fill of music and drama.

Here is a link to PBS previews:

Also, be sure to check out the longer short excerpts from the individual operas at the bottom of the web page.


  1. I was not convinced that “The Machine” made for a creative triumph but will enjoy the entire Ring this week. This incredibly challenging feat of engineering did present an entirely new dimension of opera for those who viewed opera as an art form from the dark ages.

    There was another positive stretching of the boundaries of opera by this past weekend’s “The Good The Bad and the Divas” by Fresco Opera Theater. This endeavor surely opened the eyes and ears of newcomers to opera as was its intent. It is a thrilling thought that the honored and treasured melodies of Mozart and Puccini among other pillars may have been heard for the first time, sung dead serious by outstanding operatic voices, and that acceptance and exploration may ensue. In the intimate Overture Playhouse setting the instrument that is the human voice was offered up-close in all its glory. How could the enchanting story ending (even of a spaghetti western), “O soave fanciulla” from La Boheme not have revealed an art form to seek more of? Good for opera and Fresco Opera Theater!

    Comment by Anne — September 9, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  2. i have so much music that happens in the evening that I cannot hope to see these broadcasts. BUT I’ll be gettin’ a DVD of the whole shebang,as I gotta see this stuff. As a composer, if one does not have a clear idea of the legacy of one of the most iconic works for opera, (sorry, not music drama, RW) one lacks sufficient perspective on one’s own work.

    Comment by Michael BB — September 9, 2012 @ 10:07 am

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