Wagnerians, rejoice. Union Avenue Opera closes its season with the prelude to the sprawling Der Ring des Nibelungen. Das Rheingold is the shortest of the Ring operas, and even it requires massive amounts of brass and string instruments, seven harps, tuned anvils and a thunder machine. How's that all gonna fit in Union Avenue Christian Church (733 Union Boulevard)? Well, UAO is mounting the reduced version of the opera adapted by Jonathan Dove. The orchestra requirements are lessened, but the power and the sweep of the music is still there. The story is also trimmed, but the essential bits remain. A hoard of gold is stolen by the dwarf Alberich -- gold that can be made into an all-powerful ring. The god Wotan needs this ring to get the goddess Freia out of a bad bargain he made with a pair of brother giants. The conflicting desire for this gold then sets in motion a series of events that culminates -- three operas from now, mind you -- in the destruction of the gods and the world. This will be the first American performance of Dove's reduction in German -- if you're a Wagnerian, you can't pass up the chance to have this on your list. Catch Das Rheingold tonight at 8 p.m.; performances continue Friday and Saturday through August 25. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org.
Fri., Aug. 17, 2012