New York, NY (January 29, 2019)—The Metropolitan Opera will present Richard Wagner’s four-part masterwork Der Ring des Nibelungen in performances March 9–May 11, 2019. This season’s performances are the first time the Met has presented the inventive Robert Lepage staging in six seasons and are the only complete Ring cycles to be presented in North America in 2019. Marshaling the vast forces on stage and in the pit is the incoming music director of the Vienna State Opera, Philippe Jordan, who has conducted acclaimed Ring cycles in Paris and Zurich.
The cast includes many of today’s preeminent Wagnerian singers, several of whom are singing their roles for the first time at the Met. Starring as the warrior maiden Brünnhilde in her much-anticipated Met role debut is Christine Goerke. Sharing the role of Wotan, the king of the gods, are Michael Volle, who is making his Met role debut, and Greer Grimsley, who reprises his performance from the 2013 cycles. Andreas Schager and Stefan Vinke alternate in the role of the fearless hero Siegfried, both in their Met debuts.
The performances also feature Jamie Barton as Fricka, Dmitry Belosselskiy as Fafner, Karen Cargill as Erda, Günther Groissböck as Fasolt and Hunding, Tomasz Konieczny as Alberich in his Met debut, Eric Owens in his role debut as Hagen, Gerhard Siegel as Mime, Stuart Skelton as Siegmund, and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde.
Director Robert Lepage has previously directed Met productions of La Damnation de Faust in 2008, The Tempest in 2012, and L’Amour de Loin in 2016. His innovative and technologically advanced Ring production features 24 aluminum planks covered in fiberglass that move and spin to transform into various forms and serve as surfaces for projections and interactive video designs that realize Wagner’s stage directions.
Der Ring des Nibelungen is an epic four-part story that follows the struggles of gods, heroes, and mythical creatures for possession of a magical ring and, with it, dominion over the entire world. The story begins in Das Rheingold, as the gods face a crisis that threatens to imperil the entire social order. Next, in Die Walküre, the battle lines are drawn between gods and mortals—and between a father and his daughter—as the fate of the world rests with a sleeping warrior on a mountaintop ringed by magic fire. In Siegfried, a young hero rises from humble beginnings to stake his claim on his birthright and to find the power of redemptive love. Finally, in Götterdämmerung, the story reaches its fiery climax as the rule of the gods ends and the ring returns to the churning waters of the Rhine.
The Met will produce three complete cycles of the four Ring operas: Cycle I is March 9, March 30, April 13, and April 27, all Saturday matinees; Cycle II is April 29, April 30, May 2, and May 4; and Cycle III is May 6, 7, 9, and 11. A standalone performance of Das Rheingold is set for March 14, and two additional performances of Die Walküre are scheduled for March 25 and April 25. A complete schedule of performances can be found here.
Conductor Philippe Jordan has been music director of the Paris Opera since 2009 and the principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra since 2014. He will become music director of the Vienna State Opera in 2020. In the summer of 2017, he conducted a new production of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festival, and he has previously led successful Ring cycles at the Paris Opera and Opernhaus Zürich. At the Met, he has conducted performances of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Carmen, and Le Nozze di Figaro.
Joining Lepage on the creative team are associate director Neilson Vignola, set designer Carl Fillion, costume designer François St-Aubin, lighting designer Etienne Boucher, and video image artists Boris Firquet (Das Rheingold and Die Walküre), Pedro Pires (Siegfried), and Lionel Arnould (Götterdämmerung). Der Ring des Nibelungen is presented in collaboration with Ex Machina.
Lepage’s production of Das Rheingold opened the Met’s 2010–11 season. Die Walküre premiered in April 2011, followed by Siegfried in October of the same year. Götterdämmerung premiered in January 2012, and complete cycles were performed at the end of the 2011–12 season and again during the 2012–13 season. This is the eighth production of Der Ring des Nibelungen in the Met’s history; the first complete cycle was presented in the 1887–88 season.
Der Ring des Nibelungen Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online
The performance of Die Walküre on Saturday, March 30, will be transmitted live to more than 2,200 movie theaters in more than 70 countries as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. The transmission will be hosted by legendary Wagnerian soprano Deborah Voigt, who starred as Brünnhilde in this production’s premiere during the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons and again during the 2012–13 season.
The March 14 performance of Das Rheingold, the March 25 performance of Die Walküre, the May 9 performance of Siegfried, and the May 11 performance of Götterdämmerung will be audio-streamed live on the Met’s web site, metopera.org. The March 14 performance of Das Rheingold, the March 25 and April 25 performances of Die Walküre, and the May 9 performance of Siegfried will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75. The March 9 performance of Das Rheingold, the March 30 performance of Die Walküre, the April 13 performance of Siegfried, and the April 27 performance of Götterdämmerung will also be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.