After three years of preparation, on Monday night in Melbourne Opera Australia opened the biggest opera event seen in Australia with the Das Rheingold, the first of Wagner’s four-opera Ring Cycle. These are the first photos released.
With Die Walkure, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung to follow on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, this is the first of three complete cycles. The second starts on Wednesday 27 November and the final cycle on Friday 6 Decemeber.
Directed by Neil Armfield and conducted by Pietari Inkinen, the production features 405 performers, 127 orchestral players, 150 extras and there are about 150 people working behind the scenes.
International singers including Terje Stensvold (Norway), Susan Bullock (UK), Richard Berkeley-Steele (UK) and Stefan Vinke (Germany) join the Australian cast including Stuart Skelton, Daniel Sumegi, Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Jacqueline Dark, Jud Arthur, Graeme Macfarlane and Warwick Fyfe.
I was among the lucky ones who was at the dress rehearsals of the complete cycle.
These sneak previews were not for review, but what an amazing week!
Four operas (16-hours) and 5 hours of intervals, with enough time to go and have a meal and talk about what we’ve just seen and guess about what’s to come.
AlI I say is that the opening of Das Rheingold is exquisite and sets the tone for an opera experience that makes Wagner feel perfectly at home in Australia, and that every curtain opening reveals something unexpected.
The event has been sold out for months, but there are a limited number of RUSH TICKETS available for the individual operas at melbourneringcycle.com.au or by ringing 03 9285 3700.
All photos by Jeff Busby.