Chicago Lyric Opera to begin staging new Ring Cycle in 2016

Posted on 10, Jun, 2015 in Uncategorized

Chicago Tribune
Lyric Opera will launch new Wagner cycle in 2016
Company also will present Midwest premiere of Holocaust opera in 2015
John von Rhein
January 17, 2014
Nothing in the repertory tests an opera company’s world-class bona fides more severely than its ability to mount Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.
The German composer’s magnum opus, “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (“The Ring of the Nibelung”), comprises four music dramas totaling some 15-plus hours and is customarily presented over a week’s time, one segment per evening. Every aspect of the tetralogy — from the singers to the creative team to the conductor, orchestra and chorus — must be of the highest international caliber. Otherwise, why bother?
Perhaps for that reason, Lyric Opera has ventured Wagner’s monumental epic as a full cycle only twice in its 59-year history. That was in 1996 and again in 2005 when the late August Everding’s production — complete with Rhine maidens on bungee cords and Valkyries bouncing on trampolines — played to sold-out houses at the Civic Opera
Now Lyric is about to scale the Valhalla of operas yet again.
On Friday, the company announced it will produce a new “Ring” cycle to be staged by the admired British director David Pountney and presented in installments over consecutive seasons. “Das Rheingold,” the prologue to the cycle, will open Lyric’s 2016-17 season, with “Die Walkure” following in 2017-18, “Siegfried” in 2018-19 and “Gotterdammerung” in 2019-20. The company will mount three complete cycles beginning in April 2020.
Heading the casts will be two Americans, soprano Christine Goerke as the warrior-maiden Brunnhilde and bass-baritone Eric Owens in his role debut as the chief god Wotan. Other singers will be announced later.
Also announced were the other members of Lyric’s “Ring” creative team. Music director Andrew Davis will conduct, and the designers will be Johan Engels (sets), Marie-Jeanne Lecca (costumes) and Fabrice Kebour (lighting).

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