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Wagner's Dream trailer debut: Meet "The Machine"

Sara McGinnis is a slightly mossy Northwest gal living in an otherwise all-male household. She contributes to both the BabyCenter Blog and SheKnows Entertainment, and is a fan of Twitter and Facebook friends. When not tethered to wifi...

Opera has performers afraid for life and limb

Your first look at Wagner's Dream has arrived! When an opera is so creatively challenging its production deserves its own documentary, you know it's going to be good.

Welcome to Wagner's Dream, a documentary that details the production of an opera. Unusual, perhaps, to chronicle the making of a stage production, but Wagner's Ring cycle is no small undertaking!

To bring Richard Wagner's Ring cycle to its full potential the crew engineered a unique moving set, unlike any the Met has ever used before. Featuring 24 rotating planks constructed between two towers that run on a hydraulic system, "The Machine," as it came to be known, is used in all four operas that make up the 16-hour work.

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"I'm so scared, I'm sorry," a performer can be heard crying during rehearsals while dangling above the stage in Wagner's Dream. A release for the documentary touts:

The stakes could not be higher as one of the theater's finest stage directors teams up with one of the world's leading opera companies to tackle opera's most monumental challenge: The production of Wagner's epic Ring cycle — the four-part, 16-hour work that the composer first presented in 1876.

For the past 130 years, the quest to produce a perfect Ring has stymied directors, including Wagner himself, who struggled to meet the immense theatrical demands of his own creation. The cosmic vision of gods and mortals vying for power and destroyed by greed calls for astonishing stage visuals of fire storms, flying warriors, and underwater and heavenly actions.

Wagner's Dream, the documentary, is set to have its world premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on April 25. The film's worldwide theatrical release is scheduled to follow on May 7 — a one-day ticketed event as part of The Met: Live in HD series.

Has the trailer for Wagner's Dream captured your curiosity?

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