Pacific Northwest Festival

Pacific Northwest Festival

August
Most opera companies shy away from Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen because of the technical difficulties involved in staging the work and because it is assumed that only audiences in Wagner's native Germany will have the stamina to sit through the entire four-opera cycle. But in 1975, the Seattle Opera proved not only that the Ring could be staged, but that it could draw huge audiences. Under the direction of Glenn Ross, the Seattle Opera started its annual Wagner festival, performing the uncut Ring cycle in German the first week and in English the second week with an augmented orchestra. All operas are performed in the Seattle Opera House, which had been remodeled for the 1962 World's Fair.
Some of the world's finest Wagnerian performers have participated in the Pacific Northwest Festival over the years, among them Herbert Becker, Ingrid Bjoner, Philip Booth, Ute Vinzing, Paul Crook, and Malcolm Rivers. When General Director Speight Jenkins decided in 1985 to stage an entirely new production of Die Walkure, one of the operas in the Ring cycle, he was booed for his innovative approach by those who preferred the more traditional production.
See also Bayreuth Festival and Ravello Music Festival
CONTACTS:
Seattle Opera
1020 John St.
P.O. Box 9248
Seattle, WA 98109
800-426-1619 or 206-389-7600; fax: 206-389-7651
www.seattleopera.org
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