PBS to present Wagner’s complete ‘Ring Cycle’ of operas Sept. 11 to 14

WCNY-TV presents Wagner’s complete “Ring Cycle” of operas on “Great Performances at the Met,” a rare television event that PBS has presented just twice in the last 30 years, at 9 p.m. each night, Sept. 11 to 14, on WCNY channel 24.1 and in high definition on WCNY channel 24.4.

This unique airing of the complete “Ring Cycle” offers something for veteran opera lovers and newcomers alike. James Levine conducts “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walküre,” and Fabio Luisi conducts “Seigfried” and “Götterdämmerung.” The stars include Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde, Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried, Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann as Sieglinde and Siegmund, and Eric Owens as Alberich.

These broadcasts feature the new Robert Lepage production of the famed Wagner cycle, which has 45-ton stage machinery, special effects and lighting meant to bring Wagner’s theatrical vision to life. It costs more than $16 million to produce and its technical problems and huge cost caused great controversy among critics and opera lovers. The making of the production will be covered in Susan Froemke’s documentary “Wagner’s Dream,” at 9 p.m. Sept. 10, on WCNY channel 24.1.

PBS last aired the complete cycle in 1983 and 1990.

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