At the Met Opera, Balancing Novelty and Tradition

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2011-12 season brings seven new productions along with the revamped “Ring,” not to mention a world premiere. The current season’s new productions of La Traviata and Don Pasquale were terrific.

Metropolitan Opera’s Valhalla Machine for Das Rheingold Disappoints

The Metropolitan Opera opened its season last week with Das Rheingold, the premier of a new production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle. This new “Ring” is directed by Robert Lepage who conceived a 45-ton machine with vertical planks that swivel to form various stage configurations. It’s a clever and versatile mechanical invention, but the resulting visual effect, and other aspects of the production, are a disappointment.