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Ring Cycle Insights to explore themes of Wagner's masterpieces

Events include pieces from contemporary writers on BBC Radio 3, glimpses behind the scenes and panel discussions.

By Kasper Holten (Former Director of Opera, The Royal Opera)

11 September 2012 at 2.59pm | 2 Comments

The Ring Cycle is a great work of art in so many ways. One of the reasons is that it isn’t ‘just’ four wonderful operas – it is much more than the sum of that. It is one of the greatest works of art ever produced, and it forces us to think about so many different aspects of our world: from politics, religion and the arts, to nature and philosophy.

The Ring can be enjoyed as an adventure. But we also wanted to surround the revival of Keith Warner’s production with a number of events that will enable us to reflect and to connect the opera house and to connect the Royal Opera House, and our work, to other disciplines. In collaboration with BBC Radio 3, we have asked contemporary writers to respond artistically to the Ring Cycle in new and surprising ways. Find out how to be part of the audience. We've also programmed a number of live events, exploring four of the big issues raised in The Ring: Politics and Power, Force of Nature, Love and Redemption. To round out the series of events, I'll be hosting an Insights Event looking at the task of putting such a demanding piece on the stage. Exciting events such as these are enabled by the Paul Hamlyn Education Fund. We are also very grateful when staging an epic such as The Ring Cycle, for the passion and generosity of our Wagner production supportersWagner Circle members and Wagner Orchestra Supporters

You can experience the events live and take active part in them, or experience them on our YouTube channel and iTunesU afterwards. We will also be live tweeting each of the Ring Cycle Insight events. I do hope you will be as excited about these events as I am and seize upon this opportunity to learn, discuss and go deeper during the revival of The Ring at the Royal Opera House this Autumn.

Insights events are as follows:

Wagner: The Writers' Cycle - Friday 21 September 2012 at 7.30pm
BBC Radio 3 presents some of our finest writers' responses to Wagner’s Ring Cycle in an evening of specially commissioned drama, poetry and prose. In a mix of short stories, poetry, polemic prose and even a short play, they will weave an evening of witty analysis, fiction, surprise and imagination – a mix of styles, approaches and disciplines promises to throw an innovative literary light on this great cycle of operas. The evening is to be recorded and each new work will subsequently be broadcast on Radio 3 alongside their live transmission of the operas.

Insights: Staging The Ring - Saturday 22 September 2012 at 6.30pm
Director of The Royal Opera Kasper Holten and members of the cast and production team will shed light on the exhaustive process to get the four operas to the stage.

Wagner: the bigger picture - Various dates
Over four unique events, leading thinkers, philosophers, politicians and scientists come together to discuss the big themes explored in Wagner’s Ring Cycle:

  • Politics and Power - Friday 28 September at 7.30pm
    Does power inevitably lead to corruption? Is political renewal only possible after collapse?
  • Force of Nature - Friday 5 October at 7.30pm
    What political choices do we make that impact ecological outcomes? Is Man’s impact on the environment ever irreversible?
  • Love - Saturday 20 October at 6pm
    Why do we love? What is the evolutionary benefit of true love and does it make us stronger or weaker?
  • Redemption - Monday 29 October at 7.30pm
    Is salvation and rebirth possible? How do individuals and societies renew themselves?

Pre-Performance talks: The Ring - Monday 24 September (6.30-7pm), Tuesday 2 October (6.30-7pm), Tuesday 16 October (6.30-7pm), Friday 26 October (6.30-7pm)
An informal introduction to each cycle from the production team.

By Kasper Holten (Former Director of Opera, The Royal Opera)

11 September 2012 at 2.59pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged BBC, BBC Radio 3, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Götterdämmerung, insights, Keith Warner, Production, Siegfried, The Ring

This article has 2 comments

  1. Can't wait to see the latest production of the Full Ring Cycle, booked almost a year ago, to see all Four of the Ring cycle in Oct/Nov. ROH do some fabulous productions of Wagner.

  2. Brian Spiby responded on 6 October 2012 at 8:44pm Reply

    Unfortunately not this time.

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