SEATTLE OPERA’S ONCE AND FUTURE ‘RING’

Seattle Times

The Wagnerian faithful are gathering at the Seattle Center for the ultimate in opera experiences: the “Ring,” more formally known as Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” And while the “Ring” may seem more German than the Volkswagen, this four-opera epic also is an indelible part of Seattle culture. A Seattle Opera fixture since 1975, the “Ring” is now in its third incarnation here — a hugely popular production, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and designed by Thomas Lynch. What makes this “Ring” (first staged here in 2001) special? In many respects, it is an emotional synthesis of the elements in both the first, ultratraditional “Ring” production of ’75, and the second, more avant-garde postmodern “Ring,” completed in 1986. It has the best of both approaches: It’s creative, imaginative and audience-stretching, but it also has the storybook beauty and the attention to Wagner’s own stage directions that satisfy the traditionalism dear to many Wagnerites

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