Explore more content in the Twilight: Gods performance program book.
Experience an original film that captures Lyric's sold-out Chicago premiere of Twilight: Gods, a reimagining of the final chapter of Wagner's epic Ring cycle set in the largest underground parking complex in the country.
Due to high interest and limited availability of the production, Lyric immediately set upon the idea of creating a film out of this unique drive-through experience. Featuring a new English translation of Wagner's libretto by director Yuval Sharon, new orchestrations, and new poetry by Chicago interdisciplinary artist avery r. young — all captured through the lens of an innovative filmmaking team under the direction of Raphael Nash — Twilight: Gods stands alone as a unique digital experience that defies categorization.
The film was a finalist in the 2022 OPERA America Excellence in Digital Opera Awards for Best Noteworthy Project.
The actors and dancers of Twilight: Gods
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s drive-through garage opera, Twilight: Gods, was a triumphant and safe return to in-person performances with a star-studded cast. In addition to the internationally acclaimed singers in the cast, there are several Chicago-based non-singing performers, as well.
Things You Might Not Know About Twilight: Gods
Twilight: Gods isn’t your standard operatic production. This reimagined version of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) took place underground in the Millennium Lakeside Parking Garage and critics and audiences alike loved the drive-through experience. Here are a few things you might not know about Twilight: Gods, some of which Lyric didn't even know until the company put together an opera in a garage!
Valhalla in photos: a journey through Twilight: Gods
Lyric Opera of Chicago's sold-out run of Twilight: Gods was described by critics as "unexpected and other-worldly" (Chicago Sun-Times) and as "a theatrical triumph that could hold its own in any era" (Musical America). The film version of the production comes out this summer free to all audiences, so before you buckle in for your virtual journey to Valhalla, learn more about the production by director Yuval Sharon through these photos.
Wait...this opera's in a parking garage?
Thanks to the brilliant mind of “opera’s disrupter in residence” (New York Times), Yuval Sharon, Lyric Opera of Chicago will present a radical reimagining of Götterdämmerung, the final chapter of Wagner’s Ring cycle with a sold-out run of Twilight: Gods. Say what? Michael Smallwood, Lyric’s technical director and VP, and Jackie Kane, Millennium Garages’ director of sales and marketing, are here to answer your questions.
Spotlight on avery r. young
The narration and text for the Chicago premiere of Twilight: Gods have been written and will be performed by Chicago poet and interdisciplinary artist avery r. young. It’s a perfect example of innovatively telling a story, with a local frame of reference, when circumstances don’t allow artists and audiences to gather in conventional performance spaces. Learn more about young as Lyric prepares to premiere his work on Twilight: Gods.
Spotlight on Yuval Sharon
Over the past few years, you might have seen the name Yuval Sharon pop up in opera coverage in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Opera News, and other publications. You might have asked yourself, “Hmmm, what exactly is Hopscotch, A Mobile Opera in 24 Cars? And who came up with the idea?” Dubbed “opera’s disrupter in residence” by The New York Times, this acclaimed director has been making cultural waves since early in the new millennium and is making a splash with Lyric, as well.
Spotlight on Christine Goerke
A true dramatic soprano is perhaps the rarest voice on the international operatic scene. Without that voice, the largest-scale Wagner and Strauss works aren’t feasible to produce at the highest level. When a dramatic soprano comes along with the necessary vocal beauty, power, and size, matched by extraordinary musicality and electrifying stage presence, the result is world renown. That’s what happened in the stupendous career of Christine Goerke.
Martha C. Nussbaum, PHD
Philosophy and the Ring
Two philosophers popular in his time clearly guided Wagner as he shaped and reshaped his Ring. In the end, though, Wagner created a tragic drama that is all his own, focusing on the nature of love, its glory and its tragedy.
Christine Goerke on singing the Ring
The Dallas Morning News has hailed soprano Christine Goerke as “the Brünnhilde of dreams." Goerke is no stranger to Wagner, having played the role at Lyric in both Die Walküre (2017/18) and Siegfried (2018/19), and in Ring cyclees around the globe. As she steps into Brünnhilde once again for Lyric's Twilight: Gods, here is what she has to say about singing the Ring.
Megan Steigerwald Ille, PhD
Ride of the Spectators: Out of the Opera House and Into the Car
Megan Steigerwald Ille, PhD, takes a look at how opera American companies are taking opera beyond the opera house and into non-traditional spaces in the 21st-century and what it means for the art form.
Richard Wagner and the journey of the Ring
The influence of Richard Wagner (1813–1883) is evident in the tone poems of Richard Strauss and the film scores of John Williams, and spreads beyond composition into philosophy, literature, the visual arts, theater, and film. Learn more about the composer and the creation of his epic Ring cycle in this article from Austin Stewart, PhD.
Airing out Wagner's Götterdämmerung: Wagner in the Age of Coronavirus
In the years around 1850, Richard Wagner conceived of opera in entirely new terms. He envisioned fusing every art form into what he called “music drama,” or the “total work of art.” In essays describing this novel form of opera, the composer used environmental, atmospheric, and climatic language to describe “music drama” as an analogue of the Germanic climate and as an “atmospheric ring of art and nature,” his music the “breath” of Germanic nature.
Featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra
Featuring students of the Joffrey Academy of Dance
New Narrative Poetry: avery r. young
Live Musical Arrangements and Orchestrations: Ed Windels
Siegfried's Funeral March Arrangement and Sound Artist: Lewis Pesacov
Production Design: PXT Studio - Jason Thompson and Kaitlyn Pietras
Sound Designer: Mark Grey
Costume Coordination: Scott Marr
Music Supervisors: William C. Billingham and Eric Weimer
* Lyric debut
*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble
Twilight: Gods is a project of Lyric Unlimited and is generously sponsored by Julie & Roger Baskes, Ethel & William Gofen, and Donald & Anne Edwards.
Twilight: Gods is a collaboration between Lyric Opera of Chicago and Michigan Opera Theatre.
Production space generously provided by Millennium Garages — Millennium Lakeside Parking Garage.