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Death, isolation, betrayal, fratricide, incest, revenge, tortured passions, heartache, anguish, humiliation, and vengeance are just some of the themes found in Wagner's greatest of stage plays: The Ring of the Nibelungen. In this complete volume on The Ring, Nancy Ellison has lovingly and with great inspiration captured James Levine's and Otto Schenk's landmark production for the Metropolitan Opera as it has never before been seen: in full-page color photographs that bring the theater of Wagner's masterpiece alive in book form. With a keen eye for dramatic tension and beauty, Ellison's The Ring is a sensual, aural, and visually stirring experience, and illuminates Wagner's concept of gesamtkunstwerk, or all-embracing artwork, a concept based on the union of all art forms, from dance and music to drama, voice, and aesthetics. Elegantly designed, this book is a unique tribute to Wagner's accomplishment, unfolding as does the tetralogy, with Das Rheingold, considered the prelude to the opera cycle, and continuing with Die Walküre, Siegfried, and finally Götterdämerung, with a short synopsis of each opera at the beginning of each of the four sections. Text contributions from those most intimately involved with the history and staging of this production make this book a must-have for both passionate devotees and opera insiders as well as the Wagner neophyte. In addition to the essays, Robert Tuggle, archivist at the Met, creates a visual timeline with archival photographs, some of which have yet to be published, documenting the history of this monumental undertaking and revealing behind-the-scenes anecdotes.
Nancy Ellison is the author of In Grand Style: The Glory of the Metropolitan Opera and In Classic Style: The Splendor of American Ballet Theatre. Eva Wagner-Pasquier is the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner and is senior artistic advisor at the Metropolitan Opera. Peter Gelb is general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. Otto Schenk is a producer at the Metropolitan Opera. James Levine is the musical director at the Metropolitan Opera. Robert Tuggle is the director of archives at the Metropolitan Opera.