Richard Wagner's opera cycle, Der Ring Des Nibelungen, is a hard sell for many adults, let alone children. Those four-plus hour running times can lead to fidgeting at any age. But there's so much gorgeous music in those hours, not to mention the sturm und drang, to recommend them to any fan of mythology or the drama of the human spirit. If you have a Lord of the Rings-loving kid gently introduce them to the wonders of Wagner with Union Avenue Opera's The Mini Ring today at 1 p.m. This 45-minute performance arranged by Elise LaBarge sets the characters in high school, but retains the music and morality of Wagner's masterpieces. Wotan is now the captain of Valhalla High's football team rather than the chief of the gods, his wife Fricka is now Flossy the head cheerleader, and the heroic Siegfried is an exchange student who finds a magic ring that makes him the best at everything he attempts. But isn't that cheating? Things earned honestly have more value than shortcuts, as the students of Valhalla High learn together. The Mini Ring is performed at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Admission is free.
Sat., Dec. 1, 2012