Skylight Music Theatre
Press Release

Skylight Music Theatre debuts The Skylight Ring

Wagner's Ring Cycle in two hours

By - Apr 8th, 2015 02:20 pm

Milwaukee, WI Skylight Music Theatre is creating a new production based on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The work, titled The Skylight Ring, will run May 15 through June 7, 2015 in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center (158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee WI).

The Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center has been the incubator for several new works for Skylight Music Theatre. This season, Skylight’s Artistic Director Viswa Subbaraman paired with singer and stage director, Daniel Brylow to create a new version of Richard Wagner’s monumental Ring Cycle.

Wagner’s Ring is most often performed over the course of four separate evenings, and has a cast of thirty characters plus chorus. The Skylight Ring will be performed by a cast of four playing two dozen characters. The work will include excerpts from Wagner’s original score as well as dialogue to assist in the storytelling.

The show’s creator, Daniel Brylow chose to tell the story from Albrerich’s point of view. He explains, “Telling the story from one of the major “antagonist’s” point of view has the benefit of allowing us to explore the nature of evil and its causes. While the original cycle by no means portrays any character as completely good or completely evil, telling the story from Alberich’s perspective allows the audience to see that nothing is truly black and white. By following Alberich (Robert Frankenberry) through his various tactics to obtain the ring, we get a glimpse of the absurd lengths to which one character goes in order to attain power, and subsequently, the destructive consequences of such choices. Through his journey, we also come to understand Alberich’s feelings and motivations, which are unfortunately, all too human.”

It still may seem like an impossible feat to condense an eighteen hour masterwork into two hours. Brylow continued, “Once it was determined that Alberich would be narrating the story, it became much easier to determine the rest of the structure. Assigning the remaining roles to each of our three (non-Alberich) singer-actors (Erin Sura, Colleen Brooks, and Tim Rebers) became clearer. Some of this was self-evident: as the only soprano in the cast, it made sense for Erin Sura to play Brünnhilde; as the only baritone in the cast, Tim Rebers was the obvious choice to play Wotan, etc. But this only took me so far, and soon I had to start getting more creative. For example, in the second scene of Das Rheingold, at one point there are eight characters onstage – far more than we were able to portray with our reduced cast! I solved this problem in various ways: two of the smaller roles could be cut entirely; two of the characters (the giants Fasolt and Fafner) would be portrayed so gigantic that they couldn’t the even be seen, but rather would be represented by pre-recorded voices; the scene would be re-structured so that one performer would exit, change her costume, and then re-appear as a different character, even though those two characters would appear onstage at the same time in the original.”

CREDITS

Book and Lyrics by Daniel J. Brylow
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Viswa Subbaraman

PRODUCTION TEAM
Stage Director – Daniel J. Brylow
Music Director – Robert Frankenberry
Scenic Designer – Adam Stoner
Costume Designer – Susanne Maroske
Lighting Desiger – Phil Warren
Stage Manager – Lesley Stoner

ORCHESTRA

Piano – Robert Frankenberry

CAST

Colleen Brooks – Wellgunde, Fricka, Erda, Sieglinde, Siegfried, Thought
Robert Frankenberry – Alberich, Hunding, Mime, Hagen
Tim Rebers – Flosshilde, Wotan, Fafner, Siegmund, Gunther, Memory
Erin Sura – Woglinde, Freia, Loge, Mortal, Brünnhilde, The Norn, The Waldvögel, Gutrune

MUSICAL NUMBERS

ACT ONE
1. The Rhinemaidens’ Song – Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde
2. Alberich’s Curse – Alberich
3. Erda’s Warning – Erda
4. Winterstürme Duet – Siegmund and Sieglinde
5a. Brünnhilde Whooping – Brünnhilde
5b. Brünnhilde Whooping [Reprise] – Brünnhilde
6. The Annunciation of Death – Brünnhilde
7. Wotan’s Spell – Wotan

ACT TWO
8. Siegfried Re-forges Nothung – Siegfried
9. Fafner’s Song – Fafner
10. The Waldvögel’s Song – The Waldvögel
11. Brünnhilde and Siegfried’s Love Duet – Brünnhilde and Siegfried
12. Hagen’s Watch – Alberich
13. Brünnhilde’s Lament – Brünnhilde
14. The Rhinemaidens’ Second Song Woglinde, Wellgunde and Flosshilde

TICKET INFORMATION

Performances of The Skylight Ring will take place in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee. Tickets are generally $37.50 (plus tax) and can be purchased in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office or by calling (414) 291-7800 Monday – Sunday from noon – 6:00 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org. Group, student, senior and other discounts may also be available. Ticket prices are subject to change.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Additional information can be found at http://www.skylightmusictheatre.org/shows-events/on-stage/the-skylight-ring

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