'Das Rheingold' ends Union Avenue Opera's 2012 season
Union Avenue is ending its four-show 2012 season by starting something just as grand.
With the staging of Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold," which opens this weekend, the St. Louis Opera company begins a four-year series of the composer's Ring Cycle. A set of four epic operas, "Das Rheingold" is often seen as the prequel to the trilogy of the cycle.
The opera plays with a cast of characters that include dwarves and river maidens, dragons and gods. For opera novices, the story can best be compared to Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" literature. While the author denied taking inspiration from Wagner, they share influences in German folklore and an epic style -- not to mention the centerpiece of one all-powerful piece of jewelry.
"Rheingold" serves as a proper introduction to Wagner's cycle, but stands on its own as a celebrated work. So no worries if your schedule is blocked out for late summer 2013 -- an evening with "Rheingold" shines with or without the cycle.
Also this weekend, Insight Theatre holds a benefit play with "Will's Women" and the Fabulous Fox Theatre brings back the live version of Disney classic "The Lion King."
Where: Union Avenue Opera, 733 Union Blvd., St. Louis
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 17, 18, 24, 25
How much: $30 - $52
Shakespeare Showcase: Will's Women
Where: Insight Theatre Company, 530 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, August 18; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, August 19
How much: $25 - $50
Disney's The Lion King
Where: Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand, St. Louis
When: Aug. 15-Sept. 2
How much: $28 - $90