Opera Australia announces cast for 2021 Brisbane Ring Cycle

AAR-OA-The-Ring-Cycle-photo-by-Jake-TerreyAfter announcing the postponement of last year’s Ring Cycle due to the pandemic, Opera Australia has revealed its new cast for the rescheduled 2021 season at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, featuring some of the world’s most renowned singers.

The postponement meant some of the original cast were no longer available however Ring Cycle fans can be assured that internationally acclaimed German tenor Stefan Vinke will still be headlining the event in the role of Siegfried.

Vinke will now be joined on stage by stunning American soprano Lise Lindstrom in the role of Brünnhilde. Lindstrom will perform in the first and second Cycles then Australian soprano Anna Louise Cole, who will perform the role of Sieglinde in the first two Cycles, will make her role debut with Brünnhilde for the final Cycle.

Recently named by The Australian newspaper as one of the “Hottest Australian artists of 2021”, Cole is an alumni of OA’s Young Artist program and this casting is a clear signal that she is a star on the rise.

Having performed in Ring Cycles around the world, Australian bass Daniel Sumegi will step into the highly coveted but challenging role of Wotan, bringing his powerful stage presence and commanding voice to the QPAC stage.

The casting of Sumegi and Cole sets up an historic pairing as the first Australians to be cast together in a major Ring Cycle production, in these highly demanding lead roles of Wotan and Brünnhilde.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled to be presenting such an exciting cast. “Not only do we have some of the best Ring Cycle singers from around the world, this is a fantastic opportunity for our Australian singers to step into these difficult roles, and I’m particularly excited at the prospect of presenting the first home-grown pairing in the lead roles Wotan and Brünnhilde,” he said.

Seasoned Ring Cycle performer, Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli, will bring his booming voice to the roles of Fafner, Hunding and Hagen. As will tenor Andreas Conrad playing Mime, a role he performed to great acclaim alongside Stefan Vinke at the Bayreuth Festival in 2016.

Talented Australian soprano Olivia Cranwell will reprise her roles of Ortlinde and Third Norn before making her role debut as Sieglinde in the third Cycle.

Taking this extraordinary cast through their paces, along with the Queensland Symphony Ring Cycle Orchestra, will be French conductor Philippe Auguin, who has conducted 13 complete Ring Cycles and is renowned for his Wagner performances around the world.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane is proud to host this cast of internationally acclaimed and rising singers. “On behalf of Brisbane, I invite everyone to come and experience the talented artists which make up this operatic masterpiece, and while they’re here enjoy our city’s vibrant cultural attractions and modern culinary scene,” said Cr Schinner.

Brisbane Ring Cycle 2021 dates:
Lyric Theatre – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Cultural Centre, South Bank, Brisbane
Cycle 1: Das Rheingold (29 October); Die Walküre (31 October); Siegfried (2 November); and Götterdämmerung (4 November)

Cycle 2: Das Rheingold (6 November); Die Walküre (8 November); Siegfried (10 November); and Götterdämmerung (12 November)

Cycle 3: Das Rheingold (14 November); Die Walküre (16 November); Siegfried (18 November); and Götterdämmerung (20 November)

Image: The Ring Cycle – photo by Jake Terrey