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Plank your lucky stars

You Wagnerians out there (and you know who you are!) who are so busily either enjoying this season’s Ring cycle (or, perhaps, not so much) maybe be fascinated and/or appalled to hear that the next scheduled appearance of the Met’s production has been canceled, as irrevocably as these things can ever be. What we know, after the jump.

According to information emanating from inside the Met, La Cieca understands that tthe long-range plan was originally that the Robert Lepage staging, Machine and all, would be set aside, no doubt in a silk-lined, climate-controlled cube of the purest crystalline diamond, for four seasons. The Ring was to return at the close of the 2016-2017 season for three cycles.

But, for whatever reasons (and La Cieca is confident you will not be shy about guessing), this reapearance has been canceled, with (so far as we know) no revival in the foreseeable future.

So will the Met just sit dark for all those April and May nights and the contracted artists sit around munching bonbons? Hardly! Your doyenne’s spies report that these slots will be filled with two attractions, one perhaps a bit more attractive than the other.

The company’s current production of Der Fliegende Holländer will return for five performances, featuring Michael Volle, Christine Goerke and Jay Hunter Morris.

Concurrently the Met will introduce a new production of Rusalka, and here the details are a bit more misty. The title role is assigned to Kristine Opolais, and it is reasonable to assume that Ring artist Eric Owens will roll over to Vodnik.

As for the production, La Cieca assumes it will not be created entirely new for the Met but shared with some other company. The most likely candidate would be the David McVicar staging to be introduced at Lyric Opera of Chicago next February.

However, there is also a slight chance the duties will be assigned to Martin Kusej, whose production of this work at the Bayerische Staatsoper was a career breaktrough for La Opolais. According to information that is still in flux (how like information!), Kusej was scheduled to direct a Verdi opera for the Met in 2016-2017, but that project has been postponed or canceled. Thus the Met might decide to have him fulfill his contract by directing the Dvorak opera instead.

Oh, and speaking of Eric Owens, he will also star that season in L’amour de loin, which has replaced the originally planned Saint François d’Assise in the Met’s repertoire.

114 comments

  • Byrnham Woode says:

    Several random comments/observations on the MET’s RING troubles.

    This year’s poor ticket sales boil down to several factors: oversaturation -- too many cycles packed into a couple of seasons; weak casting (no further comment); and a bad schedule. The MET always did the Schenk RING either as a series of Saturday matinees spread over 4 to 6 weeks, or as a 4 night event spread over 6 days. The new staging is being done this season as -
    3 Saturday matinees and a weeknight (huh?)
    2 cycles given as 4 nights spread over 8 nights, with one of those cycles finishing with a matinee instead.

    The former schedule is just odd and the latter two are distended, and unappealing to tourists -- who made up a huge percentage of the Schenk audiences.

    Has any theater “borrowed” an existing production of the RING? Friedrich’s “time tunnel” was adapted for London, after opening in Berlin, but I can’t think of any other. A borrowed RING that could work on the MET stage is hard to imagine.

    Finally, and I’ll duck as I make my exit -- how happy are the singers with the safety issues that were so obvious on “La Machine”? I wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear of singers declining the honor of singing and falling in future revivals.

    • steveac10 says:

      I think the 8 night format may have been a huge issue for out of towners. It basically demanded a 2 week vacation from work -- and it was a big factor in me ultimately deciding no. Not only is it more time off -- it’s more expensive, with an additional 2-3 nights in a Manhattan hotel and 2-3 days more restaurant food. I was looking at 6-8 grand for us to see it (and that would be with just OK seats, a mediocre hotel and no extra outings). I can treat myself to a really splendid vacation elsewhere for that kind of money.

  • I promity-promise on a stack of Boulez recordings that this is my last review of the Lepage Ring for a while. Götterdämmerung on Superconductor.