Synopsis by Mark Deming
Wagner's massive opera cycle Der Ring Des Nibelungen is examined from a fresh perspective in this documentary from director Jon Else -- from the point of view of the stagehands. The San Francisco Opera Company is performing the entire 17-hour "Ring" cycle over four nights, and a group of union stagehands ends up pulling a 85-hour week as they try to keep the show running smoothly. In between hauling scenery back and forth and making the special effects work, the crew members play cards, squabble among themselves and try to make sense of the opera's German-language story (as one member of the tech crew puts it, "Every time the gold changes hands, somebody ends up dead"). Sing Faster won honors in its premier showing at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.
behind-the-scenes, opera-company, stagehand