Longborough Festival Opera recently announced details of its 2023 season, which includes a new production of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods, 1876), bringing the Gloucestershire-based festival’s new Ring Cycle to its epic conclusion.
The opera festival has now revealed the dates in 2024 when the full Ring Cycle will be performed.
Next year’s Götterdämmerung is the final instalment in Longborough’s ambitious new series of productions of Wagner’s monumental four-opera Der Ring des Nibelungen, which was first performed in full at the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876.
Amy Lane, artistic director of Copenhagen Opera Festival, and Longborough’s music director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus were commissioned to create all four productions by Longborough Festival Opera.
Das Rheingold (1869) was part of the festival’s 2019 season, with Die Walküre (The Valkyrie, 1870) in 2021 and Siegfried (1876) in 2022. There was no 2020 festival due to coronavirus restrictions. Longborough’s 2022 production of Siegfried is available to stream for free on OperaVision.
Der Ring des Nibelungen is a fantastic story of gods, giants and heroes, and their struggles for power. The works are based loosely on characters from Norse legendary sagas and the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem of Germanic heroic legend written by an anonymous poet around 1200. Watching a whole Ring Cycle takes place across a week. The full cycle will be performed in three rounds throughout summer 2024.
The first round takes place from 16 to 22 June 2024: Das Rheingold will be performed on 16 June, with Die Walküre on 18 June, Siegfried on 20 June and Götterdämmerung on 22 June.
The second runs between 25 and 30 June 2024: Das Rheingold on 25 June, Die Walküre on 26 June, Siegfried on 28 June and Götterdämmerung on 30 June.
The third cycle is from 4 to 9 July 2024: Das Rheingold on 4 July, Die Walküre on 5 July, Siegfried on 7 July and finally Götterdämmerung on 9 July.
Booking for these cycles will open in autumn 2023, after that year’s festival closes, with prices to be confirmed.
“Longborough has long been celebrated for its performances of Richard Wagner’s work,” Longborough Festival Opera said in a statement.
“In Wagner’s bicentenary year of 2013 we were the only UK company to host a fully staged Ring Cycle, described by The Times as ‘one of the summer’s most remarkable cultural achievements’. Now the epic journey towards a new production of Wagner’s Ring at Longborough is nearing its end: what started in 2019 will culminate in the full cycle in 2024.”
Longborough Festival Opera is also offering audiences the opportunity to win a pair of ‘golden tickets’ to the full cycle by taking part in the festival’s raffle.
Raffle tickets cost £50 and the more you buy the more chances you have to win, while also supporting Longborough’s work. All proceeds from the Golden Ticket raffle will be invested back into creating the Ring Cycle.
Tickets are on sale now and the draw will take place on 22 May 2023, Wagner’s birthday. The winner will be able to choose which round to attend, subject to availability.
Booking is already open for Longborough’s 2023 season, which runs from 29 May to 3 August. In addition to Götterdämmerung, the line-up comprises new productions of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love, 1832), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1607) and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (1692). The last, to be directed by Longborough’s artistic director Polly Graham, will feature the festival’s Emerging Artists and Youth Chorus.
Wagner’s full Ring Cycle will be performed at Longborough Festival Opera’s 2024 season, with the 2023 production Götterdämmerung marking the conclusion of this four-opera epic.