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Wagner's 'Ring' Cycle: A theater critic signs up

May 27, 2010 |  3:57 pm
Ring photo

The “Ring” cycle isn’t just for hardcore opera lovers. In a Critic’s Notebook for Calendar, I reveal why I, a theater critic with not much expertise in classical music, have signed up for the marathon experience (even though my back aches at the prospect).
As some of the most important theater scholars and critics have noted, Wagner is one of the primary innovators of 19th century theater. His vision of opera as drama revealed new possibilities for a true artistic fusion.
Mixed reporting about Achim Freyer’s production at the Los Angeles Opera have raised anxieties. But I wouldn’t pass up this opportunity to experience it for myself. For me, it’s not so much a cultural obligation but a chance to thrillingly connect with the theatrical past and the operatic present. 

Read my thinking here and come back to Culture Monster starting Sunday for my takes on each of the four operas.

-- Charles McNulty


Summarizing the four operas of the 'Ring'

The Los Angeles Times' Ring Festival coverage

L.A. Opera's 'Ring' cycle gets ready to roll

When it comes to 'The Ring,' radical is the new traditional

Photo: A scene from Los Angeles Opera's production of Richard Wagner's "Die Walküre." Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.