Seattle Opera's critically acclaimed production of Wagner's four-opera epic Der Ring des Nibelungen returns for three cycles in August 2013. Online ticket sales to the general public will begin on Monday, November 12, at 9 a.m. Phone and in-person sales will begin on Thursday, November 15. Fans of Seattle Opera on Facebook may secure tickets early, beginning November 8.
This will be the fourth time Seattle Opera presents this award-winning production of the Ring, inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The 2001, 2005, and 2009 mountings of this Ring production boasted sold-out performances and audiences from 50 states and 33 countries; so far, people from 49 states and 13 countries are coming for the 2013 Ring. "Seattle Opera's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle now stands alone as the only traditional depiction of the epic music drama on the American stage," wrote the Associated Press in 2009.
The production features stage direction by Stephen Wadsworth, sets by Thomas Lynch, costumes by the late Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski. Principal Guest Conductor Asher Fisch, named "among the finest Ring conductors of our time" by Opus Magazine, will be in the pit. Maestro Fisch kicked off Seattle Opera's current season conducting widely-lauded productions of Turandot and Fidelio.
General Director Speight Jenkins, who concludes his thirty years at the helm of Seattle Opera in 2014, casts his final Ring with this production. Making their Seattle Opera debuts in this production are Alwyn Mellor as Brünnhilde and Stefan Vinke as Siegfried. Mellor had critics reaching for superlatives when she sang Isolde at England's Grange Park Opera in 2011. Vinke has sung Siegfried in London, Cologne, Leipzig, Berlin, Salzburg, Venice, and Lisbon. Greer Grimsley, most recently heard as Don Pizarro in last month's production of Fidelio, returns to Seattle Opera for the third time as Wotan, a role for which he won Seattle Opera's 2005 Artist of the Year award. Other returning artists include Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Margaret Jane Wray as Sieglinde, Stuart Skelton as Siegmund, Dennis Petersen as Mime, Richard Paul Fink as Alberich, Daniel Sumegi as Fafner and Hagen, Andrea Silvestrelli as Fasolt and Hunding, and Luretta Bybee as Schwertleite and the First Norn. Making their debuts in this production are Markus Brück as Donner and Gunther, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Freia, Gerhilde, and Gutrune, Mark Schowalter as Loge, and Lucille Beer as Erda. The Rhine Daughters and other roles will be sung byJennifer Zetlan, Cecelia Hall (debut), and Renee Tatum (debut).