Saturday, April 18, 2009

 

Wagner Fan



Among the things I promised myself I'd do after my father passed away, was to see the entire Ring Cycle at the Met. This is not easy. Tickets sell out to members first, leaving very little for peons like me. My friend Jeffrey, who I consider the consummate New York art-goer, confessed that he too would like to see the Ring and that he never had; he knew no one who really wanted to go. I felt that fate had given me a mission to secure tickets.

It turned out that Stubhub, which began as a ticket resale site for sporting events, had what I was looking for. And, over the course of a couple weeks, we managed to put together a set of tickets for the entire cycle--although, I pointed out to Jeffrey that it is not truly a cycle unless we go and see the entire thing again, which I'd like to do in 2011 when the Met puts on a new production by Robert Lepage.

We are midway through our viewing and have our routine down. I flee at the end of the first act to get into the women's restroom line while Jeffrey, who smuggles in sandwiches, heads for our perch on "the ledge," a balcony overlooking the lower floors of the theater. Actually, we've learned that this corner is where all the illegal eaters eat, furtively chowing through sandwiches and potato salad to fuel up for the next act. (Wagner is long). The second intermission is for champagne and brownie, which we can buy in advance, thus avoiding the line during the second intermission. I smuggle in water which we keep under our seats and only drink when it is dark. Obviously, we bring our own binoculars.

I have also discovered my favorite seats--the front of the balcony. It's high up enough that the sound really soars fuses together. We can also see. I'm trying to get a membership for next year and hoping for these seats so I can get a crack at the new Ring when it begins in 2011.

Wagner fans are fans, which means they have their own passionate discussions and rituals. There was much arguing over how exactly to forge a sword, for example. Jeffrey and I spent a good 15 minutes on the iPhone trying to discern if Wotan and Erda were siblings, or if she predated him (she is the earth mother). And we spotted this woman wearing her helmet. Photography is not permitted in the Met, but the ushers all looked the other way in this case, compared to the previous evening at BAM where I was in trouble for taking a picture of a 90 year old Merce Cunningham on his birthday.

Next week is Das Rheingold (we are going a little bit out of order). Then Gottedamerung on the 9th of May.

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