Following a string of major Wagnerian successes (Rienzi, Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, The Flying Dutchman), Melbourne Opera is thrilled to present the pinnacle of operatic excellence, indulgence and excess – Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Commencing with the first of the Ring’s four operas, Das Rheingold in February 2021, the company will stage the following three operas progressively over the next three years, culminating with a multi million dollar performance of Wagner’s full Ring Cycle in 2023.
“As Melbourne Opera’s productions of Wagner’s sublime work continue to receive acclaim, we couldn’t be more proud to be taking on The Ring,” said Melbourne Opera’s Founding Patron Lady Primrose Potter AC, CMRI.
“This is the first independent and unsubsidised Ring mounted in Australia since 1913. Melbourne Opera receives no government funding and we are very grateful to our generous sponsors for making this possible.”
Mounting a production of Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen is regarded as the height of any opera company’s achievement and Melbourne Opera is particularly proud to be mounting four new productions of the epic Ring operas, in addition to a performance of the full Ring Cycle, with an all Australian cast and creative team.
“Given the current problems facing the industry this is a very significant announcement for Victoria,” said company director Greg Hocking. “More than 140 Victorian singers, musicians, creatives and technicians will be employed in the production and we can’t wait to see the beloved Regent Theatre spring back to life after months of darkness and lockdown.”
The production will be the first major show back on in Melbourne after the lockdown and will feature the beautifully renovated Regent Theatre with appropriate audience social distancing. There is an 80 piece orchestra (including 7 harps) spilling into the front stalls which will also meet social distancing requirements.
A superb Australian cast has been assembled led by acclaimed international Wagnerian Warwick Fyfe as Wotan, alternating with Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, James Egglestone as Loge, Simon Meadows as Alberich, Lee Abrahmsen as Freia, Roxane Hislop as Erda and Sarah Sweeting as Fricka.
Michael Lapina plays Mime, with Steven Gallop and Adrian Tamburini as the giants and Jason Wasley and Richard Divall Emerging Artist Darcy Carroll as Froh and Donner. Two other recent Richard Divall Emerging Artist Programme graduates Rebecca Rashleigh and Louise Keast have been cast as the Rheinmaidens.
The production is directed by Wagner specialist Suzanne Chaundy and designed by Andrew Bailey with renowned international Wagnerian maestro Anthony Negus (acclaimed for his MO productions of Tristan and Isolde, The Flying Dutchman and Fidelio) and David Kram conducting.
Continuing its reputation as Victoria’s busiest professional opera company, Melbourne Opera has further significant plans for 2021 including new productions of Verdi’s Macbeth starring Helena Dix, The Marriage of Figaro, Brecht / Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and numerous country tours and concert performances of the company’s very popular Mozart by Moonlight series.
Wagner’s Das Rheingold will be presented at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on 3, 5 & 7 February 2021. Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster. For more information, vist: www.melbourneopera.com for details.
Image: Eddie Muliaumaseali’i to star in Melbourne Opera’s production of Das Rheingold (supplied)