The Met: Live in HD continues Saturday in Durango with ‘Die Walküre’

Photo courtesy Community Concert Hall
The Met: Live in HD, presented by the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College in partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, continues on Saturday, March 30, with Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre.”

By Indiana Reed
Special to The PREVIEW
The Met: Live in HD, presented by the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College (FLC) in partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, nears the close of its 2018-2019 series on Saturday, March 30, with Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre.”
The Met’s performance will be screened in the Vallecito Room of the FLC Student Union, broadcast in high definition from the Metropolitan Opera beginning at 10 a.m. Run time is four hours, 55 minutes, with two intermissions.
In what has been called a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke plays Brünnhilde, Wotan’s willful warrior daughter who loses her immortality in opera’s most famous act of filial defiance. Tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek play the incestuous twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. Greer Grimsley sings Wotan. Philippe Jordan conducts.
“Die Walküre” is set in mythological times, when gods, giants, dwarves and humans all contended for power. While the first part of the Ring cycle, “Das Rheingold,” moves between realms above and below the earth, “Die Walküre” takes place entirely in human territory, as the balance of power in the cosmic struggle tips ever so slowly toward humanity.
The opera premiered at the Court Theater, Munich, in 1870, and is the second opera in Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle. “Die Walküre” has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theater. Part of its appeal lies in its focus on some of the Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader of the gods; his wife, Fricka; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde; and, above all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde. These characters and others follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.
Throughout the Ring cycle, Wagner uses a system of musical themes, or leitmotifs, associated with characters, events, emotions and things. The entire first act of “Die Walküre” depicts the experience of falling in love in one great arc, from initial attraction to consummation. It is one of the theater’s most convincing portrayals of the power of love — even if the lovers in question are in fact twin brother and sister.
Act III opens with the famous “Ride of the Valkyries.” In a dramatic masterstroke, Wagner uses the sound of eight powerful female voices, punctuated by shrieking laughter, to depict the terrible thrill of combat. The opera ends with some of the most moving music ever composed, as Wotan intones his farewell to Brünnhilde.
The “magic” of The Met: Live in HD events is that they are delivered 100 percent live via satellite. Audiences throughout the world experience the production at the same time as the audience sitting in the Metropolitan Opera itself.
The Met Live in HD features one additional opera in the 2018-2019 season, “Dialogues des Carmélites” (Poulenc), on May 11.
Since The Met: Live in HD series launched in 2006, in excess of 17 million tickets have been sold to opera lovers worldwide. The Met: Live in HD is now seen in more than 2,000 theaters in 70 countries.
Advance tickets for individual screenings ($23-$26) are available online at www.durangoconcerts.com, by calling 247-7657 or at the ticket office inside the Durango Welcome Center at 8th Street and Main Avenue in downtown Durango.
Tickets are also available on the morning of each performance, one hour in advance of show time, at the FLC Student Union. Posted ticket prices include applicable service charges.

This story was posted on March 28, 2019.