LA Opera brought the final cycle of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen to a close on Saturday night, June 26, with a thundering standing ovation from the full house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. As the cast, conductor James Conlon (LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director), and director/designer Achim Freyer took the stage for their bows, the crowd roared its delight in marking the completion of LA Opera’s first-ever presentations of the Ring cycle.
Ring Festival LA officially closed on Wednesday night, June 30, at a festive celebration for civic leaders, LA Opera and Getty board members, and festival partners in the atrium of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The party opened with guests circulating in the atrium to the sounds of Daedalus’ unique blend of electronica. Alfred Darlington, aka Daedalus, performed a sold-out concert at the Broad Stage at the start of the festival, and returned to the closing event with his remix of the Ring and other music.
Deborah Marrow, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust, welcomed the crowd of 200 to the Getty Center, spoke of the staff and board’s sorrow at the loss of James Wood, the late president and CEO of the Getty Trust, and introduced Barry A. Sanders, Leader of Ring Festival LA.
Mr. Sanders noted, “Our 122 partners produced nearly 1,000 events, which were attended by more than 465,500 people. The festival engaged the entire city and met our expectations by tearing down the walls that have separated the abundance of cultural and educational institutions in Los Angeles. It invited everyone in the city to participate in experiencing the fascination of the Ring." He lauded the quality and intensity of the participation by all the partners, "The partnering institutions, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to The Verdi Chorus, put their hearts into creating new and impressive work that would not have happened without the festival." He also thanked the team at LA Opera who labored to create and implement the festival.
Mr. Sanders welcomed Los Angeles County Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to the microphone, where Supervisor Yaroslavsky said, "Ring Festival LA was an unprecedented event in Los Angeles. Thanks to the programming and discussions that took place for 10 weeks throughout the county, the eyes of the world were focused on the very best of our arts, educational and cultural institutions." He added, "If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, our festival partners should be flattered indeed that San Francisco will be mounting its own festival around the Ring in 2011. So congratulations to everyone on a job well done!"
Stephen D. Rountree, Chief Operating Officer of LA Opera, officially closed Ring Festival LA when he handed a conductor’s baton, signed by Maestro Conlon, LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director, to the Getty’s Deborah Marrow in honor Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.
Mr. Rountree began his remarks by thanking the Getty for generously hosting the event and asked that the crowd take a moment to remember the late James Wood, saying, “Mr. Wood was one of the most respected museum leaders in the country and brought a new level of respect to the Getty.” He also noted that Mr. Wood was in attendance at the inception of the Ring festival.
Mr. Rountree continued, “Ring Festival LA was an unparalleled bringing together of arts, educational and cultural organizations, and this baton signifies our wish that all of the organizations involved in Pacific Standard Time will enjoy the extraordinary success that Ring Festival LA experienced. The legacy of Ring Festival LA is the partnerships that were created and that will continue to provide collaborative arts and educational programming across Los Angeles. We hope Pacific Standard Time will create another such legacy.”
Dr. Marrow accepted the baton saying, “We congratulate LA Opera and all of the partners in Ring Festival LA. The Getty is pleased to have been a participant. You have beautifully demonstrated the artistic and intellectual vibrancy of the educational and cultural organizations in the Los Angeles region. We accept this baton with pleasure and look forward with excitement to the opening of the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions and programs in Fall 2011, continuing through Spring 2012.”
Last Updated on Friday, 23 July 2010 15:11
Video: An Evening with Maestro James Conlon at the Hammer Museum
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 12:02
Date of event: 4/13/10
James Conlon is the Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera and a Grammy-Award-winning conductor. Conlon has appeared as guest conductor with virtually every major North American and European orchestra and has been a frequent guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for more than 30 years. Conlon talks about Wagner, myth, and Ring at the Hammer Museum. (Run time: 1 hour, 46 min.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 12:30
Other Takes on the Ring
Written by http://www.ringfestivalla.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_content#
Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:29
According to Entertainment Today, “The Musical Theatre Guild (MTG) is a treasured gift to Los Angeles for which we should all be deeply grateful.”The nonprofit membership company of theatrical professionals is devoted to preserving the unique American art form of musical theatre by presenting seldom-seen musicals, and by offering education for both the current and next generations of musical theatre audiences.
On June 14, MTG presents Das Barbecü (book and lyrics by Jim Luigs and music by Scott Warrender) at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Kevin Mc Mahon, President of the MTG Board said, “We are thrilled to wrap up our 14th season with this partnership with Ring Festival LA. When we picked Das Barbecü for this season we were aware of the upcoming festival, and are so grateful and honored to be a small part of this countywide event. The show is going to be a hoot and holler and a perfect complement to the Ring.” The Hollywood Reporter says, “Conjure up your basic Texas hootenanny, complete with lassos, long-neck beers, fringed leather and steel guitars. Now, if you can, marry that image with Wagner’s Ring cycle, in all its operatic, melodramatic intensity. These improbable, no impossible, bedfellows come deliriously together in this splendidly giddy musical.” This country-western parody of the Ring will delight not only opera lovers, but musical theatre and country-western fans. Mark your calendars and order your tickets.
Basement Wagner: A Brief History of the Bayreuther Festspiele
Machine Project is a non-profit performance and installation space investigating art, technology, natural history, music, literature, food, and whatever else humans like to do. When not occupying their storefront space in Echo Park, Machine Project operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing their shows at locations ranging from the Santa Monica beach to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Their next project involves a year-long experiment in rethinking how visitors experience the Hammer Museum. As a part of Ring Festival LA, Machine Project is presenting a basement installation tracing the history of Wagnerian set design, as well as a series of performances and lectures interpreting the Ring Cycle on various dates now through June 19.
Artist Juliana Snapper will lead a Wagner sing-along on June 11, and an all-day performance of Hojotoho! on June 18. On June 12, theorist and author Jason Brown will lecture on the operatic origins of the American space program. On June 19 the duo ing will perform a lo-fi musical interpretation of all four operas in one evening entitled "the ing cycle". Artist Liz Glynn will construct a series of sculptural vignettes and drawings tracing the evolution of Wagnerian set design from naturalism to abstraction as it evolved at the Bayreuth Festival, open on weekends and by appointment until June 19 (for lecture, performance and gallery times visit www.ringfestivalla.com) .
Blood Red Lost Head Dead Falcon: THE NIBELUNGEN
Highways Performance Space’s, Artistic Director Leo Garcia presents collision/theory's Blood Red Lost Head Dead Falcon: THE NIBELUNGEN to the space for three performances June 25 through 27 (visit www.ringfestivalla for performance times). collision/theory is a collection of theatre and visual artists. Their drawn imagery, video and animation collide with movement, puppetry and text to explore and explode theatrical narratives. Lead artists Lyn Gaza, Aaron Henne, and Michael Manning are award-winning members of the Los Angeles Theater community. Movement collaborator Julie Lockhart is a frequent performing artist with Theatre Movement Bazaar. The 800 year-old German text, Die Nibelungenlied, served as inspiration for Wagner's Ring cycle. This wild, collaged, mash up performance piece also references this tale of magic, love, loyalty and revenge, while deconstructing the original source material. Bringing together traditional and digital animation sequences, video art, original musical composition, live performance, dance, puppetry and lyrical language, this workshop presentation turns the ancient text into a modern multimedia extravaganza.
The performances are presented with an exhibit Blade in the Heart. The exhibitionof artist Michael Manning's work from the illustrated novel, The Nibelungen, in the gallery opens on June 22 and continues through July 11. Michael Manning is an illustrator, animator, tatoo designer and comix artist. His best known works include The Spider Garden and Tranceptor graphic novel series and the art collection Inamorata. His artwork has been featured in galleries and museum exhibits both locally and internationally. In collaboration with publisher Sum Legio, Manning has illustrated his own unique interpretation of the saga of the Nibelungen. Elegant, savage and sensual, Manning's artwork brings new life to this classic tale of love, honor and betrayal. A book signing will be held on June 26, prior to the 8:30 pm performance. To preview the book visit http://the-nibelungen.com
Gangsta Wagner a Hip Hop Commission
Written by Administrator
Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:19
At the April 14 Ring Festival LA kick-off, daKAH’s Double G and his 9Net got the party started. On June 19, the full 60-piece daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra will be performing at California Plaza, bringing Double G’s Gangsta Wagner, a commissioned work by Grand Performances, to the stage. A year in the making, Double G has been in the studio composing his own take on Wagner’s Ring.
Over the last 24 years, Grand Performances has undertaken several commissions, and this season they will present three commissions: Gangsta Wagner; a musical work by George Sarah; and a work by puppeteer Paul Zaloom. According to Michael Alexander, Grand Performances Executive Director, “We’ve been pleased to have been an early advocate for daKAH, helping raise the profile of the orchestra. In 2009, when Ring Festival LA approached us about a partnership, it was natural step for us to continue nurturing this important artistic relationship with this commission.” He continued, “We are proud that Grand Performances will present this envelope pushing work by one of the most challenging and adventurous artists in LA.”
According to Double G, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, “I knew a lot about a lot of composers, but my Wagner knowledge was limited to the Tristan chord, Bugs Bunnyand Apocalypse Now. When I received the commission I began watching the Ring incessantly and reading the opera scores. I prejudged Wagner by his politics and anti-Semitism, but as I studied and numbered every measure of the Ring score I grew to respect his brilliance as a musician, in fact, the harmonic structure for this piece came directly from Wagner.” He continued, “With Gangsta Wagner I hoped to create something that would respect the operas and hip hop, in such away that the well-informed snobs on opposite sides of the spectrum would find the music satisfying and challenging; smashing the two musical genres into a 2010 LA sound.”
Double G continued, “Keying off the Nazi army’s appropriation of Wagner’s music, I worked to convey the agitation activated by the music, taking that agitation into the early 90’s LA street scene of screeching tires and rap music and mashing them into a sound that is reflective of LA today.The Romantic structure of Wagner’s music provided a musical challenge, nevertheless, not unlike the 19th-century composer, I was up at 3 am today notating my score by hand before it went out for copying; rehearsals start tomorrow.”
New Partners, Events, and Exhibition Extensions
When Ring Festival LA was announced there were 50 partner institutions invested in the idea. When we launched the festival in mid-April there were more than 115 organizations participating. Since then, the Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds has joined into partnership, as has the LA Film Festival, which has added Ring-inspired programming to its June 29 schedule. We want to welcome them to this great collaborative venture.
Several groups have been so motivated by Ring Festival LA that they've added programming to their agendas. Jacaranda: music at the edge added an educational component to its programming; a free one-hour concert for youth, parents and educators to introduce Richard Wagner's Ring cycle through a performance conversation centered on the Siegfried Idyll. The Norton Simon Museum added a discussion "Wagner: Seen and Heard," with Michael Hackett, Professor and Chair, Department of Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. REDCAT presented Considerng Wagner a a Ring- inspired evening of film, music and discussion. The Italian Cultural Institute has extended the run of its exhibition MARIA CALLAS: A Woman, A Voice, A Myth, through June 30, 2010.
"The KCRW-Santa Monica 89.9 FM presents "The Ring and I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania" asks what many of the uninitiated must wonder: "What's the big deal about the Ring?" This hour-long radio journey, intended for both devoted fans and newcomers alike, visits with a diverse cast of characters who weigh in with their answers to this complex question. Listen in on Sunday, June 13 at 11:00AM or online at www.kcrw.com. The program was produced by and originally aired on WNYC, New York in March, 2004.
The latest update on festival partners comes from the Lyric Opera of Los Angeles. Their four presentations of Wagner's first opera Die Feen on June 11, 12, 17 and 19, will now take place at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101.