"Only those of wider consciousness can follow it breathlessly, seeing in it the whole tragedy of human history and the whole horror of the dilemmas from which the world is shrinking today.
A post-election op-ed? Not quite. It's George Bernard Shaw, writing in 1898 about Wagner's opera Das Rheingold, onstage now at Minnesota Opera, and as timely as today's headlines.
It's tempting to conceive of this first opera of Wagner's epic Ring of the Nibelung cycle as a fairytale story of gods and goddesses, warriors and wizards. But they're not simple heroes and villains. They're something much more interesting, precisely because they are not godlike. Wagner's gods may be larger than life, but they share our oh-so-human flaws, foibles and frailty.
Small wonder, then, that Wagner's opera of love, jealousy, class warfare, greed, exploitation, power and corruption feel so immediate today. Wagner remains, as he was in life, a political revolutionary. With singers Greer Grimsley, Katharine Goeldner, and conductor Michael Christie, we dive into a timeless opera, which gets a futuristic production at Minnesota Opera November 12 to 20.