Following this year’s postponement of the premiere of the world’s first fully digital Ring Cycle, Opera Australia has announced the season has now been programmed for December 2023 at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).
As previously planned, the season will feature three full Ring Cycles and seven performances of OA’s digital production of Verdi’s hugely popular Aida.
Originally scheduled to open in November 2020, but postponed twice due to COVID-19-related restrictions and border closures, Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled new dates have been secured.
“As disappointing as it was to have to postpone again this year, I’m heartened that this pandemic and all its restrictions will be well and truly behind us when we open in 2023, when international audiences will again be able to visit Brisbane,” said Mr Terracini.
“It’s clear this spectacular new digital production of the Ring has captured the imagination of many fans around the world, so it’s very comforting to know it will now be available to everyone.
“We’ve been very lucky to again be able to secure conductor Phillippe Auguin, stellar American soprano Lise Lindstrom and the world’s best and most in-demand Siegfried, German tenor Stefan Vinke. I’m also excited that Australians Daniel Sumegi and Anna-Louise Cole will be making their long-awaited debuts as Wotan and Brünnhilde respectively.
“We’d like to thank our good friends at Tourism and Events Queensland, the Brisbane Economic Development Agency, QPAC and our artistic partner Opera Queensland for all their support over the past two years. We’re looking forward to continuing the journey and finally bringing this innovative production to the stage,” said Mr Terracini.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the production’s 2023 season would also be a significant cultural tourism event for Brisbane. “We expect this operatic masterpiece will appeal to audiences from across Queensland and interstate, as well as overseas visitors,” he said.
“Ring Cycle spans over four nights, giving visitors to Brisbane the opportunity to explore our city’s many world-class tourism experiences. This event is expected to boost our visitor economy and confirm Brisbane’s reputation as a major events capital,” said Mr Hinchliffe.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Ring Cycle would reinforce Brisbane’s reputation as a key destination for exclusive cultural experiences. “We look forward to welcoming audiences to this landmark event, which will generate economic and cultural tourism outcomes, providing employment opportunities for our local artists and arts workers,” she said.
“Opera Australia’s decision to stage the Ring Cycle in Brisbane is a prelude to Brisbane’s role as a global cultural hub ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympics when our arts and cultural offerings will be showcased on the world stage.”
“The arts are key to delivering the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19, each year contributing $8.5 billion to the state’s economy and supporting more than 92000 jobs for Queenslanders,” said Minister Enoch.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was wonderful to be welcoming major events back to Brisbane, particularly one as internationally-recognised as Wagner’s operatic masterpiece, Ring Cycle. “After two years of COVID cancellations, opera enthusiasts across the world can start planning their trip to Brisbane for the performance of a lifetime,” he said.
“By late 2023, Brisbane’s major events will well and truly be drawing international visitors to the city, and this is an incredible opportunity for Brisbane to host the world’s first fully digital version of this spectacular opera,” said Cr Schrinner.
This production, by visionary Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng, will be the first large scale performance of the full Ring Cycle to be held in Queensland and also the first fully digital version ever staged. The sets will incorporate huge, LED screens suspended from the ceiling and choreographed to move seamlessly around the stage, creating a striking visual landscape.
Ticket holders will be contacted by Opera Australia or their ticketing outlet with further information about transferring their tickets to 2023.
Brisbane Ring Cycle 2023 dates:
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Cycle 1: Das Rheingold (1 December); Die Walküre (3 December); Siegfried (5 December); and Götterdämmerung (7 December)
Cycle 2: Das Rheingold (8 December); Die Walküre (10 December); Siegfried (12 December); and Götterdämmerung (14 December)
Cycle 3: Das Rheingold (15 December); Die Walküre (17 December); Siegfried (19 December); and Götterdämmerung (21 December)
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
6 – 20 December 2023
Note: Opera Australia is committed to COVID Safe practices. Please refer to the website for the Company’s COVID Safe procedures.
Image: The Ring Cycle – photo by Jake Terrey