‘Ring’ saga of greed to make The City richer

Richard Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” is the Mount Everest of musical spectacles. It’s 16 hours of glorious music in four operas spread through a week and performed by hundreds of soloists, chorus, orchestra musicians and production personnel.

San Francisco Opera announced Tuesday that it will produce three full “Ring” cycles in June and July 2011 — an event sure to attract opera fans from all around the world.

With 42,000 seats and standing-room spaces in the War Memorial Opera House to be occupied for the 12 performances, ticket sales alone will bring in at least $5 million, roughly the cost of the production.

Add money spent on hotels, restaurants, etc., and the prospect should make Alberich lick his lips.

He’s the mythological dwarf king (to be sung by Gordon Hawkins) renouncing love for the sake of acquiring untold riches and power (through the magical ring) who gave the cycle its name (“Nibelung” translates to “dwarf”) and story engine.

With Wotan (Mark Delavan), Brünnhilde (Nina Stemme), gods, giants, heroes such as Siegmund (Brandon Jovanovich) and Siegfried (Ian Storey), the “Ride of the Walkyries” and “Magic Fire” — all the Wagner you already know from commercials and more — this will be a really big show.

Part of the current “American Ring” production by Francesca Zambello is familiar to local audiences — “Rhinegold” was seen in The City two seasons ago.

“The Valkyrie” is due next summer, then the concluding “Siegfried” and “The Twilight of the Gods” will be added in 2011.

Opera General Director David Gockley and Donald Runnicles, former music director, drew up plans for the production four years ago, but the economy hit bottom and “Ring” projects elsewhere were canceled or scaled down.

Yet, it’s going to happen here, with Runnicles conducting and Gockley searching for a magic ring of his own to pay for it all.

 

If you go</strong>

The Ring of the Nibelung

Presented by the San Francisco Opera

Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

When: June 14-19 and 21-26 and June 28-July 3, 2011

Tickets: $120 to $2,800 (complete cycle); $15 to $310 (approximate for individual operas; prices yet to be set)

Contact: (415) 864-3330, www.sfopera.com

an Francisco OperaartsentertainmentOther ArtsWagner

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Parents and students line up socially distanced before the first day of in-person learning at Bret Harte Elementary School on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
‘It’s a beautiful sight’: The first students return to the classroom

San Francisco’s youngest public school students stepped into classrooms for in-person learning… Continue reading

File
Latest Breed nominee for Police Commission moves forward

Immigration attorney Jim Byrne clears Board of Supervisors committee

Most Read