A few years ago I watched on PBS the Metropolitan Opera‘s staging of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungs, which were played in sequence over a week, preceded by a making-of documentary. I liked the documentary.
I dislike most of Wagner’s music – too long, too many strident notes for my taste, but I was fascinated by the contraption:
the huge, glitch-prone contraption that served as a single set for all four operas in the Wagnerian cycle
The million-dollar contraption required that the Met’s floor be reinforced since it actually weighed a ton, malfunctioned frequently (including showing the Windows logo one time), and dominated every moment of the four operas.
But it was fun to look at. Look at the valkyrie ride in on the twenty four planks (for full effect raise the volume and watch it on your YouTube tv app):
If that doesn’t look like a seesaw’s worth of Wagnerian fun, I don’t know what does.
The presidential and vice-presidential debates are at least as long as the Wagner Cycle, drag on and on, hit too many strident notes, and like the Met’s contraption, weigh a ton. In order to watch, some feel the need to reinforce themselves with adult beverages.
Makes one wish the debates would bring the contraption for entertainment value. Imagine the armored candidates rollicking on the 24 planks.
However, once the fat lady sings, by now the best we could hope for is that the documentary will be better.