The 1891 Fredonia Opera House continues the 2011-12 season of Live at the Met high definition opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera with Richard Wagner's Gotterdammerung, on Saturday at 12 p.m.
"We're very excited to be presenting our first full season of live opera transmissions; there's something very exhilarating about presenting the live broadcasts as they are being performed at the Met," says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. "And this week's offering, Gotterdammerung, is one of the genre's epic operas."
The fourth and final opera in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Gotterdammerung ("The Twilight of the Gods"), brings the cycle to a transcendent climax in its suspenseful tale of bravery and sacrifice, treachery and betrayal, destruction and renewal. The sacred union of Siegfried and Brunnhilde is threatened by three scheming siblings. Driven by greed, their actions inevitably lead to chaos and destruction, until Brunnhilde wise, pure of heart, heroic steps forward to return the universe to its natural order in an act of self-sacrifice.
Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Jay Hunter Morris sings the role of the doomed hero, Siegfried, in Wagner’s Gotterdammerung. The opera will be screened live in high definition at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday, Feb. 11, starting at 12 p.m.
The production features director Robert Lepage's technologically advanced, yet controversial, staging. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads one of opera's most thrilling dramas, which stars Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde, the warrior-maiden-turned-mortal whose actions lead to global apocalypse. Jay Hunter Morris, who stepped into the title role of Wagner's Siegfried earlier this season to great acclaim, again sings the role of the doomed hero. The distinguished cast of Wagnerians also includes American soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer as the princess Gutrune; German mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier as Waltraute, a Valkyrie messenger of doom; German bass Hans-Peter Konig as the greedy villain Hagen; American bass-baritone Eric Owens as Hagen's father, the evil dwarf Alberich; and Scottish bass-baritone Iain Paterson as the cowardly human king Gunther.
The New York Times calls the production "the most theatrically effective staging of the four works in this epic series, and the clearest representation of the director Lepage's vision. Fabio Luisi drew an uncommonly articulate and nuanced account of this daunting opera"
At five hours, 45 minutes, the production is one of opera's longest, notes Davis. "There are two intermissions," he adds, "during which the Opera House will have snacks, beverages and box lunches available for purchase in the trustees room on the second floor of Village Hall. (No food or beverage is allowed inside the theatre.)"
Live at the Met opera broadcasts are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. Additional support comes from Bob and Shirley Coon, Bob and Susan Dilks, Steve and Mary Rees and DFT Communications.
Tickets to Gotterdammerung are $20 ($18 for Opera House and Met members, $15 for students) and are available in advance by calling or visiting the Box Office at 679-1891 Tuesday Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Saturday, 2-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org.
Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.