/ The Los Angeles Guide
Los Angeles — By Joannaline C. Young on April 14, 2010 at 6:25 am
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Enter the World of Wagner’s Opera Ring

Over 100 Los Angeles organizations from diverse fields have come together to celebrate Wagner’s Opera Ring in one of the greatest art festivals of all time. It will not only showcase the famous opera but also explore its different facets.

The leader of the Ring Festival LA, Barry A. Sanders, states that it will be “The most interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, collaborative artistic and cultural event to occur anywhere”. He adds that it is sure to be, “The most significant arts festival since the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival” with all of the artists and performers being from Los Angeles.

LA Opera will be partnering with other Los Angeles cultural and educational institutions for this dynamic event that spans more than two months. At the center, LA Opera will be presenting the acclaimed masterpiece from which the festival gets its name, the four-part opera “Der Ring Des Nibelungen” or the Ring of Nibelung by Richard Wagner. It was thought to have inspired Lord of the Rings and was considered groundbreaking in Germany and worldwide. Now more than a century later it has finally come to Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capital of the World.

In addition to the LA Opera, the Ring Festival LA has an extensive list of partners in various fields:

Performing Arts

There will be several musical performances by LA Opera and Los Angeles educational institutions. LA Opera will be presenting such operas as Wagner’s Gotterdammerung and the German Opera Tales tour. The LA Chamber Orchestra (LACO) will host the Westside Connections 3 program by popular opera director Peter Sellars. By enormous demand a laptop electronica adoption of Wagner’s Ring will be in Daedelus Re-Mexes the Ring. USC will be participating with their Thornton School of Music in presenting the opera Das Liebesverbot and their Max Kade Institut for Austrian-German Studies partnering with the Goethe-Institut of LA in a solo chamber performance entitled From the Dorf to the Hood.  Another important LA education system is the LA Public Library who will hold a children’s puppet show called The Rhine’s Gold.


In addition to musical, there will also be theatrical performances. The Geffen Playhouse’s Nightmare Alley is a tale of a young carnie couple based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel. USC’s Max Kade Institute partners with the MET Theatre for their Richard and Felix: Twilight in Venice to depict the last moments of Wagner’s life.

Visual Arts

Museums will have exhibitions such as The Autry National Center’s online Opera in the Libraries and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) Myth, Legends, Fables, and Cultural Renewal: Wagner’s Sources. Calstate San Bernadino’s Fullerton Museum will be further investigating the opera the festival is focused on with their Timeless Enchantment: Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung in Visual Arts and Performance. Larger events include the Norton Simon Museum’s self-guided walking tour of Rodin-Wagner: Form and Emotion.


Two films that will be part of the Ring Festival is the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural AffairsRing Around San Pedro Festival Hammer Museum’s documentary Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring that views Wagner’s Ring cycle through a stagehands’ eyes.


The LA Conservancy will host tours that will demonstrate the German influence on Los Angeles during the immigration to America from Europe’s National Socialism in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition, Villa Aurora will have a Passage Opera  Invisible Siegfrieds Marching Sunset Boulevard.

Conversations & Symposia

Museums, libraries, and universities will also be participating in discussions revolving around the subject of Wagner’s Opera Ring. The Hammer Museum, MOCA, and Museum of Tolerance will hold several events by credentialed speakers. The Brand Branch Library of Glendale and Porter Ranch Library will both have  A Look at the Ring Cycle, LA Opera Style and the La Verne Library will hold the interesting Wagner vs. Tolkein: Who is the Real Lord of the Rings? The University of La Verne will have Drama in Wagner’s Ring: Music Propels Action and USC will have Pride, Prejudice, Bigotry and Genius: Richard Wagner’s World.


Two noteworthy informative programs will be available during the festival. The LA Educational Partnership (LAEP) will present Integrating Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Calstate San Bernadino’s Fullerton Art Museum will have  the unique Timeless Enchantment: From the Ring to the Cipher, a Hip Hop Connection to Wagner’s Ring.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The Ring Festival LA will have many more events so be sure to view their calendar.

Date: Starts April 15- June 30, 2010

Location: All Over Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu

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