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Richard Wagner’s Awe-Inspiring Opera Die Walküre Comes to the Clark Live from the Met

For Immediate Release

May 04, 2011

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Richard Wagner’s awe-inspiring opera Die Walküre comes to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, May 14 at 12:00 pm, live from the Metropolitan Opera as part of the Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning series The Met: Live in HD. The Met has assembled a stellar cast headed by the charismatic bass-baritone Bryn Terfel as Wotan, lord of the Gods, and the celebrated soprano Deborah Voigt as his daughter, Brünnhilde for the second installment of Robert Lepage’s new production of the Ring cycle, conducted by James Levine.

When Siegmund promises to save his long-lost twin sister Sieglinde from her unhappy marriage with Hunding by marrying her himself, Hunding challenges him to a fight to the death. Unluckily for Hunding, Siegmund is the mortal son of Wotan, leader of the gods. Wotan instructs his warrior daughter, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, to defend Siegmund in the fight with Hunding, but Wotan’s wife Fricka, goddess of marriage, insists that Wotan must protect Hunding’s marriage rights against Siegmund. When Wotan realizes that his power will leave him if he does not enforce the law, he changes his mind and orders the Brünnhilde to fight for Hunding instead. Moved by Siegmund’s love and steadfastness, Brünnhilde decides to disobey her father, with heartbreaking consequences. The second opera in Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, Die Walküre features some of the composer’s most memorable music, including the exhilarating “Ride of the Valkyries,” Wotan's poignant farewell to his beloved daughter, and the finale's “Magic Fire Music.”

Met Music Director James Levine leads the new production premiere of Die Walküre, directed by Robert Lepage. Deborah Voigt performs the role of Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie of the title; Bryn Terfel is her disapproving father Wotan; Stephanie Blythe is the imposing queen of the gods, Fricka; Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann are the long-separated twins Sieglinde and Siegmund; and Hans-Peter König is Sieglinde’s jealous husband, Hunding. “Ms. Voigt was a compelling and creditable Brünnhilde,” says The New York Times. “Mr. Terfel’s muscular singing crackled with intensity, incisive diction and gravelly power. Mr. Kaufmann’s dark, textured and virile voice has ideal Germanic colorings. As Fricka, the mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is a compelling presence and formidable singer.”

Lepage’s production of the opera combines cutting-edge video and scenic technology with traditional costuming to create Wagner’s world of gods and heroes. Die Walküre employs the same flexible computerized set seen in the season-opening production of Das Rheingold, which will shift and adapt to create 22 settings and scenes—including the forest hut of Hunding and Sieglinde, the jagged mountaintop where Valkyries bring the bodies of dead heroes, and the flaming rock where Wotan forces Brünnhilde into supernatural slumber. “Lepage's staging continues to fulfill the enormous promise of last autumn's Das Rheingold,” says Variety. “Lepage delivers as a master showman. For once the Met audience can be forgiven for applauding the scenery… but this Walküre, thanks to James Levine and his singers, lives in its music and drama.”

The Clark’s soaring acoustics and intimate auditorium offers one of the best performance venues in the region; wine and assorted beverages will be available for purchase during intermission. Tickets are on sale now for $25 ($18 for students). For tickets, call 413 458 0MET (458 0638) or visit clarkart.edu.

The Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

May 14: Richard Wagner’s awe-inspiring opera Die Walküre comes to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, May 14 at 12:00 pm, live from the Metropolitan Opera as part of the Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning series The Met: Live in HD. The Met has assembled a stellar cast headed by the charismatic bass-baritone Bryn Terfel as Wotan, lord of the Gods, and the celebrated soprano Deborah Voigt as his daughter, Brünnhilde for the second installment of Robert Lepage’s new production of the Ring cycle, conducted by James Levine.

The Clark’s soaring acoustics and intimate auditorium offers one of the best performance venues in the region; food and beverages will be available for purchase before and after the performance at the coffee cart. Tickets are on sale now for $25 ($18 for students). For tickets, call 413 458 0MET (458 0638) or visit clarkart.edu. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact:
pr@clarkart.edu

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