Opera Australia’s largest and most ambitious production, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, returns exclusively to Melbourne in 2016. Directed by Neil Armfield, the Melbourne Ring will play at Arts Centre Melbourne from 21 November to 16 December 2016.
Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen will return to conduct.
Often seen as a project that will make or break a company, Armfield’s Ring Cycle was a defining moment for Opera Australia, and acclaimed a triumph by audiences and critics. From the moment the curtain rose on the gently writhing bodies clad in swimmers, this was unmistakably an Australian production.
“Armfield is a wonderful story-teller and this was a Ring that brought the characters down to earth in a way that I’ve not seen before…The verdict was pretty much unanimous: this was one of the best Rings anywhere in a long time.” Classical Voice North America, 2013
Beyond its critical success, the 2013 Melbourne Ring was the fastest selling show in Opera Australia’s history.
Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said “It’s no surprise an opera of this magnitude wants to open in Melbourne. We’re the cultural and major events capital of the country.”
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini noted that “Once again we are setting out to climb the ‘Everest’ of opera. We are thrilled to welcome back Pietari Inkinen to conduct this mammoth work and after his tremendous success in 2013. Director Neil Armfield is already working on various aspects of the staging for 2016 and I am sure he has some intriguing discoveries in store.”
Opera Australia’s CEO Craig Hassall said “In 2013, audiences from Victoria, Australia and around the world embraced the Melbourne Ring. The return of the Ring in 2016 is the next step towards fulfilling our aspiration to make Melbourne a regular international destination for the Ring Cycle. With the help of philanthropists such as Maureen and Tony Wheeler and Hans Henkell, we can make this a reality.”
Opera Australia is able to stage the Melbourne Ring due to the very generous support of Maureen Wheeler. “The Melbourne Ring was one of my life’s highlights, in all my travelling and experiencing the best that opera has to offer around the world,” says Ms Wheeler. “To experience this again constitutes almost an embarrassment of riches.”