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Los Angeles launches citywide Ring Festival LA

29 January 2010

Anja Kampe as Sieglinde and Plácido Domingo as Siegmund in 'Die Walküre' (Photo: Monika Rittershaus / Courtesy of LA Opera)
Anja Kampe as Sieglinde and Plácido Domingo as Siegmund in 'Die Walküre' (Photo: Monika Rittershaus / Courtesy of LA Opera)

From 15 April to 30 June more than 100 cultural and education institutions in Los Angeles Region will mount a festival inspired by Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Organized under the leadership of LA Opera, Ring Festival LA will comprise dozens of performances, exhibitions, symposia and special events in locations across the city and beyond.

The festival has been timed to coincide with three complete performances of Achim Freyer’s new US$32 million Ring cycle production for LA Opera. Critics recently highlighted the high cost of this production when the company was forced to take an emergency bridging loan for $14 million to cover debts.

LA Opera General Director, Plácido Domingo, is nonetheless confident that “Ring Festival LA will be a defining moment in the cultural history of Los Angeles”, a sentiment echoed by Festival Leader, Barry Sanders: “Ring Festival LA will be the most significant arts festival since the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival…but this time, none of the artists will be imported. It will be open to all, and give opera back to the people.”

The festival’s partners include prominent organisations such as the Goethe Institut, LA County Museum of Art, Huntingdon Library, Griffith Observatory and University of Southern California, with events ranging from in-depth academic lectures and study groups to a hip hop theatre workshop for people aged 16 to 23.

“The presence of so many of LA’s cultural, educational and civic leaders clearly demonstrates that the city’s forces can be brought together through a cultural festival,” says Domingo. “Ring Festival LA will have far-reaching impact throughout our community.”

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