Melbourne Ring Cycle to be broadcast live

ABC Classic FM radio broadcast will take Wagner’s masterpiece to audiences across Australia and beyond

ABC Classic FM will broadcast live, Opera Australia’s new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in December, enabling audiences across the nation and beyond to be part of this special operatic event.

Tickets to the Melbourne Ring Cycle sold out in a day to opera lovers from Melbourne, across Australia, and overseas. This event is Australia’s tribute to Wagner and a celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Despite clear demand, the sheer scale of the project limits the number of performances that can be presented – at close to 20 hours of performance time for each cycle (of four operas) it is widely considered the most challenging work an opera singer can undertake. Opera Australia will present three complete cycles from 18 November to 13 December at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Deborah Humble
Deborah Humble

ABC Classic FM will broadcast live the final of the three cycles, from 6 – 13 December, enabling thousands of listeners to tune in and be part of this epic event.

Minister for Tourism & Major Events Louise Asher says “Around the world, cities recognise the tremendous tourism appeal of staging a Ring Cycle.

Opera Australia’s innovative production will generate significant economic benefits for Victoria and adds to Melbourne’s reputation as an exciting cultural destination to a global audience. The State Government of Victoria’s sustained commitment to the arts and outstanding track record in major events makes Melbourne an ideal city to host Australia’s tribute to Wagner.”

Daniel Sumegi
Daniel Sumegi

Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria, says “Opera Australia’s production of the Melbourne Ring Cycle is highly anticipated and will be a major event for Melbourne and for music lovers across the country. I’m delighted that all Australians will now have the opportunity to experience the magic of this production – performed by some of the world’s best voices - through this new partnership with ABC Classic FM.”

Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia, says “We are delighted that the ABC has joined with us to take the Melbourne Ring Cycle to a much wider audience than will fit in the theatre. This will be a landmark event for opera in this country with some of our greatest singers uniting for this uniquely Australian production of Wagner’s masterwork.

“Having the opportunity to take this beyond the theatre and into the living rooms of music lovers around the country through our partnership with the ABC, enables us to continue widening audiences for Opera Australia. It is a wonderful addition to the support network already working with us to deliver this incredible production, which includes Maureen Wheeler and the State Government of Victoria.”

The ABC will broadcast the third (and final) complete Cycle which is: Fri 6 December (Das Rheingold); Mon 9 December (Due Walküre); Wednesday 11 December (Siegfried); Fri 13 December (Götterdämmerung).

Richard Buckham, Manager, ABC Classic FM says, "We were sure that the combination of Opera Australia's first Ring Cycle and Wagner's 200th year was a 'must have' for our listeners, so ABC Classic FM is now very proud to be partnering with Opera Australia to broadcast the first complete production of the Ring staged by the national company. In Wagner's bicentenary year, listeners all around Australia and internationally will have the opportunity to experience the sound of the Melbourne Ring and its exciting cast in four direct broadcasts over one week. ABC Classic FM's Melbourne production team and presenters are looking forward to the challenge and the thrill of broadcasting this huge musical work, which will also be an immensely significant cultural event."

International stars of renown including Terje Stensvold (Norway), Susan Bullock (UK) and Stefan Vinke (Germany) will join some of Australia’s finest singers such as Stuart Skelton, John Wegner, Deborah Humble, Miriam Gordon-Stewart and Daniel Sumegi to form a stellar cast.

In tackling this immense new Australian production, director Neil Armfield says, “At the start of the 21st century, as we witness the ominous signs of our own world lurching towards fire and flood, and as the resources of the planet are exhausted in a spiralling vortex of greed and human vanity, Wagner’s epic poem resounds with new and urgent meaning. The Melbourne Ring Cycle 2013 will be about our world, a history in which we are all complicit.”