25 Sep 2010
Wagner for a Song
By Alex Ross [NY Times, 25 September 2010]
ON Monday night, “Das Rheingold,” the first part of a mammoth new production of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” will thunder down on the Metropolitan Opera. A 45-ton set will test the theater’s foundations; a reported $16 million budget will test the company’s finances. In the midst of economic troubles, is it seemly to spend such a vast amount on a spectacle that will be seen by a relatively small, elite audience?