Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%


The great German director Götz Friedrich asserted that the action of Richard Wagner’s Ring takes place not in thirteenth-century Scandinavia nor in nineteenth-century Germany, but here and now in whichever theatre we are currently located. What he was producing was Welttheater, a piece of theatre which holds up a mirror to the world: ‘Every artistic realization must establish its “today” and “here”, the better to understand the time span which Wagner projects from a mythical past through his own epoch and on into the distant future.’

... (read more)
Staging Wagner’s monumental Der Ring des Nibelungen is the ultimate achievement for any opera company worthy of the name. Nearly sixteen hours of music, more than thirty characters, not to mention an enlarged orchestra, monumental settings, as well as chorus and extras; all these demands drain the resources of every company, be it the mighty New York Metropolitan Opera or the tradition-laden Vienna State Opera, or any of the much smaller companies that attempt it – a notable recent example being Melbourne Opera’s Ring in Bendigo. ... (read more)

Das Rheingold 

Royal Opera House
25 September 2023

Wagnerians are like elephants: they never forget. Though the Royal Opera House may have become less conscientious about printing performance histories in its handsome red-covered programs, for many the memories of past Ring cycles at Covent Garden live on. That may not always be a healthy thing – there are of course few more necrophiliac artforms than opera – but it’s impossible to view the opening of Barrie Kosky’s new Ring in isolation.

... (read more)


Opera Australia
18 May 2023

Let’s start with the complexities of the opera itself. The trouble with Tannhäuser is that Wagner, always his own worst enemy (but only just), could not leave it alone. Its performance history is more or less bookended by the two distinct versions of the opera: the original 1845 Dresden version; and the Paris one of 1861, commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III. I

... (read more)
One hundred and seventy years after thousands of desperadoes and gold-cravers trekked to a place called Sandhurst, Wagnerites set off to Bendigo on Friday afternoon (in rather more orderly fashion it must be said, along the potholed Calder Freeway) for the opening night of Melbourne Opera’s first full production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. ... (read more)


Melbourne Opera
26 September 2022

The past few weeks in Melbourne have seen a series of extraordinary musical events that collectively represent the ultimate triumph of the creative spirit over the forces of pestilence – something that applies equally to audiences as well as performers. There is certainly, hanging in the air, a palpable spirit of communion and fulfilled expectations from our re-emergence from the stygian isolation of Covid lockdown into the iridescent aura that only live performances can achieve. In Wagnerian terms, we are all Brünnhildes, reawakening from lengthy slumber to joyfully hail the sunlight. As it was – in life and in art – at Sunday’s magnificent performance of Siegfried.

... (read more)