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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Staller Opens Met Live in HD Series with Das Rheingold

Photo Credit: Stony Brook Staller Center

The lights dim, the music rises in surround sound and excitement fills the room. The scene sets on the large screen the size of the entire wall, giving you the feel that you are actually watching the Metropolitan Opera, or the Met,  live.

The Staller Center for the Arts features the Metropolitan  Opera shows live in HD. Satellite technology transmits the operas live to the theatre. On Oct. 17, “Das Rheingold,” a three hour opera and new production to the Met that opened the 2010-2011 season in September, was featured in the main theatre.

The theatre was nearly packed with both Stony Brook students and residents of the surrounding community. The opera featured an elaborate multi-dimensional stage and talented vocals singing in German with English subtitles over the orchestra. Richard Wagner, the composer, created a successful opera with talented performers and a captivating set.

The opera begins with three mermaids guarding gold in the Rhine River. An unseen crane held up the mermaids on the multileveled stage and gave the illusion that they were floating or swimming. The backdrop on the stage was moving projections,  making a strikingly believable and captivating set.

Eric Owens, who played Alberich, did a spectacular job of playing the evil character. After he is unable to win the love of any of the mermaids, he steals their gold, removing all light from the river. His voice and demeanor gave a great performance.

Meanwhile, Wotan, one the gods, is forced to handover Freia, another god, to the giants because of a deal he made. Bryan Terfel, who plays Wotan, is another performer who did a spectacular job. He portrays an authoritative, determined, majestic character with appeared ease.

Unfortunately, the costumes of all the god performers were less than impressive. Instead of a clear, majestic feel, they looked raggedy and were dull in color. The plot was also not very impressive. It had a classical plot and was predictable: a good versus evil conflict. In order to get Freia back, Wotan had to retrieve all the gold Alberich stole, including the powerful ring he created. This simple plot made it less thrilling, but the intensity of the emotions of the performers and the soundtrack made up for the lack of unique plot. Despite a few disappointments, it was a captivating performance.

Das Rheingold” seemed to be appreciated by most of the audience. Walking out, comments like “I’m glad I came” and “what a great show” could be heard. The first new production of this season set the stage for a predictably promising season.

There will be more Met Operas live in HD featured at The Staller Center this school year, including several more new productions.

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