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Opéra de Montréal presents first staging of Wagner’s opera till Nov. 17

Opéra de Montréal is charting new and ambitious territory with its first performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the first of the four music dramas that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen.

It’s on November 10, 14, 15, and 17 at 7:30pm at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier,Place des Arts, in German, with French and English surtitles.

The masterwork by the controversial German composer – reviled for his anti-Jewish and German nationalist views but admired for his compositional genius – was an inspiration for the Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The production features more than 115 artists, singers, and support staff – a major effort to introduce a masterwork of the repertoire, with a great score and story, featuring gods, giants, dwarves, and nymphs waging merciless war.

The drama develops in four scenes, set among the waters of the Rhine.
Deformed dwarf Alberich steals the gold he needs to forge a ring that will enable him to rule the world. But Wotan, ruler of the gods, steals Alberich’s gold and uses it to pay for his luxurious fortress. Stripped of his ring, the dwarf curses those who wear it.

An international cast of singers will perform in this joint production by l’Orchestra Métropolitain and the Minnesota Opera, with American conductor Michael Christie leading the ensemble of 81 musicians.

The cast are seasoned performers: American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny, whose voice is said to “drip with gold,” will sing his first Wotan; Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg sings Alberich; American Soloman Howard is Fafner; British bass Julian Close is Fasolt; and American tenor David Cangelosi is Mime. Singers from the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier Lyrique will sing the female roles: Aidan Ferguson (Fricka), Caroline Bleau (Freia), Catherine Daniel (Erda), Andrea Núñez (Woglinde), and Florence Bourget (Wellgunde). Tickets start at $35. To reserve: 514-842-2112.

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