Das Rheingold

A scene from the Met’s production of Das Rheingold.

Photo: Courtesy Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Nothing compares to Wagner’s epic Ring cycle. The four-opera, 16-hour drama centers around a ring of power (and it predates that other famous ring-based saga some guy named Tolkien wrote by more than 50 years), with a monumental cast of mythic creatures: heroes, gods, giants, dragons. To stage the entire cycle usually takes a full week—in part, to give its stars a chance to catch their breath; Seattle Opera’s famed Ring cycle only comes around once every few years. (It returns in 2013.)

After two decades away from The Ring, the Metropolitan Opera decided to tackle Wagner’s opus again in 2010 with its most ambitious staging yet—a production five years in the making. Lucky for us, the Met: Live in HD series will give Seattleites a chance to see encore performances in HD glory on the big screen. The entire cycle will be screened over nine days (May 9–19). Additionally, the series will feature Wagner’s Dream, a documentary about the Met’s extensive preproduction, including the manipulation of a 90,000-pound set nicknamed "The Machine."

The Met: Live in HD productions will be screened at Thorton Place Stadium and AMC Oak Tree 6, as well as other local cinemas. Tickets are $13–$18 for each screening.

Here’s the full cycle schedule:

Wagner’s Dream
May 7 at 6:30

Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)
May 9 at 6:30

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
May 14 at 6:30

Siegfried
May 16 at 6:30

Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
May 19 at noon