It's done in four parts: The Rhine Gold, The Walkyrie, Siegfried and The Twilight of the Gods, all in one night, so if 16 hours of Wagner's original is too much for you, this might be a better option; that said, with breaks, this production is still a little over four hours. My anticipation however was that I would stay for the first part, get some pics and then run, but from the first moment I was hooked, it was simply brilliant.
In my usual footloose and fancy free way, I clearly didn't pay much attention to what this actually was beforehand and I was more than a little surprised when there was no singing, for this is a non operatic telling of the ring cycle. What in fact that means is that you get a proper appreciation of what's going on and it's in English: you don't get that in Bayreuth!
1) starting at 6pm but going on til 10:30pm, it's going to get dark so you'll want all you can for low light photography, my choice then is to take the Nikon D4, sacrificing pixels for light sensitivity.
2) lens wise, I need to cover some distance as I will no doubt be sitting back a little in the audience, so the Nikon 70-200mm makes sense, plus it's a f/2.8 lens and that's going to help somewhat when the sun goes down.
3) if I want a context shot, maybe I should pop a wide angle in the bag too (so I did).
I took a couple of shots with the wide angle but overall I wasn't happy, it looked too much like an iPhone snap whereas the close in at 200mm unraveled glorious detail when the subject was nearby or covered the distance well when the actors were a little further away.
With this theatre shoot however, the radial filter can be centred on the actor and everything outside of that can be de-emphasised. In the old school, this is like adding a vignette, but here it is an order of magnitude more powerful since you control many more variables. On this occasion, I de-emphasised the background via the radial filter with a mixture of exposure, saturation and clarity.
One seeks to avoid going too OTT of course, but the end result is that the principal actor in the picture is just BOOM against a dull background so draws in the eye and commands attention. Just check out the picture below, though I've probably pushed that as far as it can go before it's too much.
And if you do take your camera, please do try, like I tried, to be respectful to the actors and your fellow attendees.