It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. In the pandemic-inspired Twilight: Gods, the experimentalist Yuval Sharon lit one figurative candle and 2,880 battery-operated ones. The show premiered in October 2020 in Detroit, where Sharon had taken over as artistic director of Michigan Opera Theatre the month before. The hour-long film version documents a reboot in the Windy City, home to that company’s coproducer for the project, Lyric Opera of Chicago.
What serendipity for Chicago! In the snakebit spring of 2020, the Lyric had lost a new Götterdämmerung, along with cycles of Richard Wagner’s full Ring des Nibelungen. With smoke and mirrors, Twilight: Gods sort of brought it all back. Strung together from perhaps 50 minutes’ worth of material from Götterdämmerung, which is the fourth and final leg of the “Ring”marathon, Sharon’s précis encapsulates not just that grand finale but the entire epic. For the purposes of narrative distillation, it helps that Wagner repeats himself. Often.