In a world first, Opera Australia, in partnership with the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, have announced it will stage one of its most ambitious projects to date, a brand new, fully digital production of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in November and December 2020.
Known simply as the Ring, Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is recognised internationally as a masterpiece and the pinnacle in operatic staging that attracts devotees from around the world, who immerse themselves in 15-hours of extraordinary musical and vocal performances over four glorious nights.
Marking the first large scale performance of the full Ring Cycle to be held in Queensland, this production will be like no other ever staged, featuring the latest technologies in sets and lighting, resulting in the world’s first fully digital Ring Cycle. The sets will incorporate huge, LED screens suspended from the ceiling and choreographed to move seamlessly around the stage, creating a visual landscape that will need to be seen to be believed.
Opera Australia CEO Rory Jeffes believes that bringing Australia’s most ambitious operatic event to the Sunshine State is an important step for the Company. “Partnering with the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and the broader artistic and cultural community, including Opera Queensland, makes this a hugely exciting undertaking for Opera Australia,” said Mr Jeffes.
“The support from local Queensland arts, tourism and education bodies has been really strong, and we are confident these collaborations will make all the difference to the success of the project.”
Queensland’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said this is an exceptional opportunity for opera and arts lovers to take part in an incredible experience. “We are thrilled to be working with Opera Australia to stage this amazing theatrical operatic event in Brisbane, a very welcome addition to our already thriving, world-class events calendar,” said Ms Jones.
“The Ring, coupled with the vast array of exceptional tourism experiences Queensland has to offer, means this will be an event that will capture the imagination of visitors across the globe.”
Deputy Mayor Krista Adams said as Australia’s New World City, Brisbane was proud to host the internationally recognised operatic masterpiece. “Brisbane is a world-class destination for major events and we are thrilled Opera Australia has recognised this and chosen our city to stage their most ambitious project to date,” said Cr Adams.
“Major events like this shine a spotlight on our wonderful city, draw interstate and international visitors, fill hotel rooms and boost hospitality, retail and service industries. We look forward to welcoming opera aficionados from around the world and trust all visitors will enjoy our clean and green city, relaxed outdoor lifestyle and diverse tourism experiences”.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini describes the Ring as the “Everest” of opera. “Creating a Ring Cycle is an extraordinary adventure, it’s exhilarating, challenging, stimulating and incredibly rewarding for all those involved, whether in the audience or on the stage or behind the scenes, it’s an amazing ride for everyone,” he said.
“And for Brisbane 2020 we’ve amassed an incredible team to bring this production to the stage. Not least our fantastic Director, Chen Shi-Zheng, along with a cast of the finest singers, specialists in their interpretations of Wagner’s characters, and an amazing orchestra that we have created in partnership with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.”
“Together this group of artists and creative geniuses will produce the most innovative and exciting production of the Ring Cycle ever staged, anywhere in the world,” added Terracini.
Internationally acclaimed movie, theatre and opera director Chen Shi-Zheng will be the first Chinese director to take on The Ring at this scale and promises to bring the mythological Norse storyline into the future but with a nod to Chinese mythology woven into the production.
Shi-Zheng, who divides his time between Shanghai and New York City, directed the hugely popular Turandot – Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in 2016 and is known for his expert use of technology in theatre.
Opera Australia believes the combination of this innovative and cutting edge cultural offering, and Queensland’s vast resources of natural beauty and world-class tourist attractions, the Ring Cycle – Brisbane will be an opportunity not to be missed by fans around Australia and the world.
The Ring Cycle – Brisbane
Das Rheingold – 10 November
Die Walkure – 12 November
Siegfried – 14 November
Götterdämmerung – 17 November
Das Rheingold – 19 November
Die Walkure – 21 November
Siegfried – 24 November
Götterdämmerung – 26 November
Das Rheingold – 28 November
Die Walkure – 1 December
Siegfried – 3 December
Götterdämmerung – 5 December
Cast to be announced in June. Priority booking periods start on 13 June. Tickets for general public go on sale 2 July 2019. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Opera Australia