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Last Night at the Opera: Technology Fail

The Metropolitan Opera's $16 million production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle contains a newfangled, massive set — "essentially a vast platform made up of 24 rotating planks mounted on a crossbar that can rise and fall" — that weighs 45 tons. Because of its weight, the Met had to go through the trouble of installing 65-foot steel girders underneath its stage. Unfortunately, despite all the effort and money, the set could not be counted on to, you know, work on opening night this past Monday. During the climax of Das Rheingold, the set didn't move, stranding actors at various places on the stage. The Met said it was a computer error, and that it wouldn't happen again: Sadly, that means we have all likely missed the latest installment of When Opera Malfunctions. [NYT]

Photo: Yves Renaud/Metropolitan Opera