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Another hitch in Lepage's Ring Cycle at Met Opera

The Associated Press, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 12:26pm (PDT)

NEW YORK (AP) — The revival of Robert Lepage's staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera ended with another hitch.

A sandbag got caught in the stage lift during Saturday's matinee performance of "Goetterdaemmerung," Met spokesman Peter Clark said. That caused a 15-minute delay in the start of the second act, which began after an intermission that wound up being extended to 55 minutes.

Lepage's version of the four Ring operas, featuring a 45-ton set with its 24 movable metal planks, was given three complete cycles last spring and then revived for three more this year to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth on May 22.

On opening night of "Das Rheingold" in 2010, the rainbow bridge to Valhalla failed to elevate, forcing the singers to walk off to the wings. In the premiere of "Die Walkuere," soprano Deborah Voigt slipped and fell on the raked stage during her entrance as Bruennhilde.

The HD telecast of that opera in May 2011 was delayed by 45 minutes because of a problem with the system that displays projected images onto the planks, and in an April 2012 "Walkuere" a Windows logo appeared momentarily on the planks.

Last month, a track and trolley system used to guide two stunt doubles failed in "Rheingold," causing the stage staff to freeze the planks in place for several minutes during the descent into Nibelheim. A stagehand then pulled them down manually, ruining one of Lepage's effects.

The Met says it plans to revive the Ring again but has not said when.

The company planned to have its crew take a rare onstage bow after Saturday's performance.

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