The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is set to perform Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle twice over two weeks in what the orchestra has described as one of its boldest undertakings yet.
The concert stagings will take place over 25-31 January 2021 and 5-10 February 2021 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London. These star-studded performances are to be conducted by Vladimir Jurowsk, bringing to an end his final season as principal conductor and artistic advisor of the LPO, before becoming its conductor emeritus and assuming his new role as music director at Munich-based Bayerische Staatsoper in spring 2021.
“Conducting the Ring is possibly the single most challenging undertaking for any conductor, but I cannot imagine a better partner for this than the London Philharmonic Orchestra,” Jurowski commented. “I hope that we have already shown that experiencing these operas in imaginative concert stagings is a hugely powerful and fulfilling way to enjoy Wagner’s magnificent scores and I hope that music lovers from around the world will join us for this momentous event.”
The two complete cycles are the culmination of an ambitious Wagner project launched in 2018 to mark Jurowski’s 10th anniversary as the LPO’s principal conductor. Das Rheingold (1869) was staged in that year, with Die Walküre (1876) in 2019. Siegfried (1876), the third part of the cycle, will be performed in February 2020 and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods, 1876) follows in early 2021. The Southbank Centre will also host a programme of events further exploring Wagner’s Ring Cycle, with full details to be announced.
The casts for the two cycles include many established Wagner specialists: Patricia Bardon, Ruxandra Donose, Christian Elsner, Burkhard Fritz, Torsten Kerl, Lise Lindstrom, Robert Hayward, Derek Welton, Allan Clayton, Kai Rüütel, Claire Barnett-Jones and Brindley Sherratt. A number of soloists will be making important role debuts, with Matthew Rose as Wotan in Die Wälkure and Brindley Sherratt as Hagen in Götterdämmerung.
Gillian Moore CBE, director of music at the Southbank Centre, said: “A complete Ring Cycle is a momentous occasion, not least when it’s presented by forces as magnificent as our resident orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and Vladimir Jurowski. Their exemplary interpretations of the first two operas in the cycle, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, promise that the full cycle here at Southbank Centre will be an unmissable event. What better way to celebrate Jurowski’s extraordinary tenure with the LPO than with this ambitious project?”
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the cast of Das Rheingold (Simon Jay Price).