WAGNER’S DREAM (GREAT PERFORMANCES)
Friendly Rating: Older elementary – and that’s optimistic
Safety Rating: Very safe
Quality Rating: Great for the budding opera fan. Not so great for the opera-phobe.
Special airs tonight on PBS (check your local listings) in advance of the entire Ring Cycle of operas by Richard Wagner all this week.
This one is not for the faint of heart. But if you’ve ever wanted to find out what all the fuss about Der Ring Das Nibelungen is all about, well, this week is your chance. But you need to see this doc on the staging of the four-opera epic by Richard Wagner first.
It’s reasonably engaging. Loved the stuff with soprano Deborah Voigt, but that’s mostly because I knew Debbie back in high school (go El Dorado!) She was about three years behind me, but I remember her doing the role of Agnes Gooch in Mame, a role I coveted but did not get because even as a 14-year-old she had an amazing voice and I, well, didn’t.
The doc is still Wagner, so it’s long. The operas are even longer, but they are sub-titled. The staging is very visually stimulating, so you may get some traction with the young ‘uns in your household. I didn’t get all that excited, but then I’m not a Wagner fan. My husband is and he’s ecstatic. Oh, and Debbie does a great job as host of the performances, as well as singing the iconic Brunhilde.