Ken Howard
Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 27, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wagner's Dream

Current Status
In Season
115 minutes

We gave it an A-

Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb was so excited about staging a new production of Richard Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle that he invited filmmaker Susan Froemke to document the process. That was five years ago, before anyone had laid eyes on the massive machinery that would eventually be built to satisfy the famously inventive Quebecois theater director Robert Lepage — and Wagner’s own production dreams. With her documentarian’s passion for unmediated ”direct cinema,” Froemke kept her eyes open. The result is an engrossing chronicle of creative people under pressure, a movie about the madness of opera for which no knowledge of opera is required for full enjoyment. Of particular delight: the friendly openness of the great American dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt — a Brünnhilde to reckon with. A-

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