Following last week’s announcement by Opera Australia that its November 2020 season of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Verdi’s Aida would be postponed due to COVID-19, new dates have been confirmed for the epic opera season to open in Brisbane from 29 October to 20 November 2021.
The production of the Ring Cycle, by internationally acclaimed movie, theatre and opera director, Chen Shi Zeng, is the world’s first fully digital version of the opera made possible by an impressive collaboration between Opera Australia (OA), Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Opera Queensland (OQ), Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) and the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) with funding support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the postponement of the much-anticipated Brisbane season of the Ring Cycle and Aida was disappointing but necessary to ensure certainty for the event as a major cultural tourism drawcard for the city.
This season was to be one of Australia’s most significant cultural events of 2020, bringing together our country’s premiere operatic and orchestral talent with international cast and creatives, thanks to our partnership with OQ, QSO, QCGU and OA, Mr Kotzas said.
“This kind of creative cooperation is something Queensland does so well, and it allows us to bring some of the world’s best productions to Brisbane.
“The fact that we were able to reschedule an event of such scale relatively quickly speaks to how well this industry can pull together, its ability to genuinely collaborate and the significance of this season to our cultural calendar.
“I’m sure audiences will share our pleasure in knowing this magnificent season of opera will still come to Brisbane and the experience we deliver with our partners in 2021 will be nothing short of extraordinary.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said blockbuster events like the Ring Cycle would play an important role in the state’s economic recovery.
Major events like this pump thousands of dollars back into the local businesses, support local jobs and help to rebuild our economy” Ms Jones said.
“Brisbane is one of the most beautiful places in the world to come and visit. We’re quickly building our reputation as a hub for major events, arts and cultural experiences. The Ring Cycle gives visitors a great reason to stay and explore the city and other parts of the state.
“Only the Palaszczuk Government has a plan to rebuild our economy and create local jobs. Events like this that support local businesses and local jobs are crucial to that strategy.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government’s support for major events such as the Ring Cycle reinforced Queensland’s reputation as an arts and cultural leader.
“Queensland arts organisations collaborating to deliver this larger-than-life production of the Ring Cycle is a tribute to the incredible local talent we have in this state,” Minister Enoch said.
“Opera Australia’s decision to stage these ground-breaking performances in Queensland highlights the esteem in which our state’s arts companies and QPAC are held, and the considerable demand our audiences have for experiencing some of the world’s best productions.
“Like performances around the world, the arts industry here has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, so the rescheduling of this major production is welcome news for our local artists, arts organisations, audiences, and for Queensland as we deliver our plan for economic recovery.”
Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan and Executive Director Sandra Willis acknowledged how well Queensland’s arts companies came together in cooperation with OA to ensure this landmark event would still take place.
“This is a major coup for the performing arts in Brisbane. We are thrilled our audiences can see these remarkable productions in 2021,” Mr Nolan said.
“Some of the finest singers on the planet will be gathering in Brisbane to participate in a production that will redefine how we experience opera – this is not to be missed. The Ring Cycle and Aida will complement Opera Queensland’s ambitious 2021 Season. Inspired by the challenges of COVID-19, our performances will offer audiences many new ways to experience the wonder of opera.”
Queensland Symphony Orchestra Chief Executive Craig Whitehead said it was an honour to be a part of such an important collaborative work.
“I speak for every member of the company when I say that being part of this world-first operatic masterpiece in 2021 will be more than a calendar highlight; it will make history as a cultural event that celebrates the talent, innovation and sheer persistence of determined Queenslanders. To have Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Verdi’s Aida rescheduled to November next year is truly a light that shines brightly for all of us.”
Current tickets to the Ring Cycle and Aida will remain valid for the rescheduled dates. All patrons will have the opportunity to transfer their tickets to 2021 or request a full refund if they are unable to attend next year.
The Ring Cycle and Aida are supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Economic Development Agency.
The 2021 Brisbane season of the Ring Cycle and Aida:
Das Rheingold – 29 Oct
Die Walküre – 31 Oct
Siegfried – 02 Nov
Götterdämmerung – 04 Nov
Das Rheingold – 06 Nov
Die Walküre – 08 Nov
Siegfried – 10 Nov
Götterdämmerung – 12 Nov
Das Rheingold – 14 Nov
Die Walküre – 16 Nov
Siegfried – 18 Nov
Götterdämmerung – 20 Nov
03, 05, 09, 11, 13, 17, 19 Nov
For tickets, head to qpac.com.au or call 136 246