April – June 2010
More than a century ago, composer Richard Wagner conceived his epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen as a festival event that completely engaged the city of Bayreuth, Germany. In 2010, LA Opera will join forces with more than 75 cultural and educational institutions in Los Angeles to stage Ring Festival LA. Southern Californians and cultural tourists from around the world will be able to enjoy a wide variety of special exhibitions, performances, symposia and special events all centered on LA Opera’s upcoming presentation of Wagner’s Ring cycle in 2010, the first time that the epic masterwork will be presented in its entirety in Los Angeles.
Ring Festival LA events will take place in a wide variety of venues throughout Southern California from April 15 through June 30, 2010, with each organization providing its own unique point of view on the influences of Wagner’s art and philosophy from the 19th century to the present day.
It is important to note here that while Richard Wagner is considered one of the most important and influential of all composers, he is also rightly reviled as having been an anti-Semite. Wagner’s writings on the subject percolated into German politics and popular culture and, decades after the composer’s death, were celebrated by Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich. It is the Company’s belief that opera has value not only as musical and theatrical entertainment, but as a way to gain important historical insight and to explore moral issues. Ring Festival LA will specifically address the subject of Wagner’s anti-Semitism in several contexts, including seminars, panel conversations and performances.
Celebrating the Arts, LA Style