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Robert Lepage created elaborate set for Das Rheingold. His Ring Cycle continues with 3D projection for Siegfried. ((Metropolitan Opera))

Canadian director Robert Lepage, who wowed New York opera-lovers with his Das Rheingold last fall, is bringing a new technical innovation to the Metropolitan Opera stage: 3D.

His production of Siegfried for the Met's upcoming 2012-13 season will feature 3D projections that will enhance the setting around some of the world's top opera singers.

Opera patrons will not have to wear special glasses. Instead, Montreal firm Réalisations, which has worked with Lepage's Ex Machina production company, has developed a new technology that allows projected 3D images on-stage to be seen without special eyewear.

For instance, an opera singer might move inside a projection of a castle, which would appear three-dimensional to the audience. As the singer moves, the set around him or her would shift in what appears to be 3D. 

Réalisations has previously created effects for Cirque du Soleil and other theatre groups.

Advanced operas

Lepage's Ring Cycle is proving to be the most technically advanced production the Met has embarked upon.

Das Rheingold introduced a high-tech set that rotates, bends and transforms into different shapes — such as a river or a spiral staircase — that the singers can climb. Computerized projections and lighting enhance the effect.

"The set is actually not only illustrating some of the ideas in the Ring, but it's also literally supporting the characters and the ideas," Lepage said in interview on the Met's website.

"It is also a projection screen. Whatever configuration it takes, no matter how complicated, it can receive projection and transform itself into all sorts of things. And, of course, the story of the Ring is all about transformation."