Richard Wagner

The Ring

April 30–May 22, 2016 | Opera House

Libretto by the Composer

In German with Projected English Titles

WNO Co-Production with San Francisco Opera

Washingtonians have eagerly awaited WNO’s first complete Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner’s extraordinary four-opera saga of gods and men, giants and dwarves. First performed as separate WNO productions before being presented as a full cycle in San Francisco, The Ring in its entirety now returns to the nation’s capital, to be staged in three complete cycles across three weeks.

Conceived and directed by Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Music Director Philippe Auguin, the production brings together a world-class cast including British soprano Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde, Cycles I & II), Swedish soprano Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde, Cycle III), American tenor Daniel Brenna (Siegfried), American bass-baritone Alan Held (Wotan/The Wanderer), and many other top artists, including several reprising their roles from the original Washington productions. Additional events, ranging from expert-led lectures and engaging symposia to convenient dining options, give audiences even more ways to explore and celebrate The Ring’s WNO homecoming.  

Spectacularly evoking the mythology of America, Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production draws provocative parallels between Wagner’s fantastical drama and civilization’s corruption of nature. The struggle for the possession of a powerful ring drives this extraordinary series of operas, in which the stakes—control of the entire world—could not be higher.

The Rhinegold

Washington National Opera: The Ring: The Rhinegold

The epic story of the Ring begins on the banks of the Rhine, where three maidens guard the river's magical gold. If forged into a ring, this sacred treasure gives its bearer unimaginable abilities--but at the cost of renouncing love forever.

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The Valkyrie

Washington National Opera: The Ring: The Valkyrie

In the Ring's second chapter, the offspring of Wotan, king of the gods, boldly test his will. Siegmund is attracted to his sister Sieglinde, while Brünnhilde is torn between obeying orders and preventing Siegmund's demise.

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Washington National Opera: The Ring: Siegfried

The third opera in the Ring Cycle is a coming-of-age story at heart. Raised in the wilderness, Wotan's grandchild Siegfried sets out to escape his wicked caretaker, slay a fearsome dragon, and rescue the beautiful Brünnhilde.

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Twilight of the Gods

Washington National Opera: The Ring: Twilight of the Gods

The Ring reaches its supreme climax in this final saga of betrayal and sacrifice, destruction and renewal. Siegfried is tricked into abandoning Brünnhilde, who makes one final, shocking choice to restore the universe to its natural order.

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