Thursday, September 07, 2006

Distinguished Californian Arts Patrons To Bypass Contemporary Art; Will Pledge $6 Million For Wagner's Ring Cycle In Los Angeles

"The Los Angeles Opera will present Richard Wagner's epic "Der Ring des Nibelungen" for the first time here, thanks to a $6 million donation from philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the company announced Wednesday.

Standing onstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion surrounded by lush vines and glittering chandeliers during a news conference, LA Opera's general director, Placido Domingo, thanked the Broads for their support.

"The ... far-reaching generosity of their gift will help make this vision a reality," he said. Details on the schedule, cast and other aspects of the production are to be announced Sept. 28.

Domingo confirmed that he hopes to take one of the roles in the four-opera masterpiece that has been hailed as one of the greatest theatrical works ever created.

"I hope to sing the role of Siegmund, if I am still singing then," the 65-year-old tenor said with a smile.

Although costly to mount, stagings of the "Ring" cycle, as it is commonly known, have been profitable in cities like Chicago and Bayreuth, Germany, where the Nordic mythologic masterpiece debuted in 1876.

Eli Broad said he expects that to be the case in Los Angeles as well.

"`The Ring's' impact on the city's cultural and economic life goes beyond the power of the production itself," he said. "A 'Ring' cycle must be presented over a series of six days or so. It encourages visitors from all over the world to stay at least a week."

Broad, who founded both SunAmerica Inc., a financial services company, and homebuilder KB Home, has spearheaded efforts to renovate downtown and is a staunch supporter of the arts.

His wife, a newcomer to opera who said she was inspired by Wagner's work, was the one who suggested staging it in Los Angeles." ...

Solvej Schou "LA Opera Gets $6 Million to Stage 'Ring'" Associated Press via Merge,0,7939644.story?coll=me-homenews-hed

Scenes from the 2002 Mariinsky Opera (Kirov Opera) production of Wagner's Ring as designed by Russian-born artist George Tsypin (b. 1954).

Photo credits: (c) Natasha Razina for the Mariinsky Opera, Petersburg, Russian Federation. With thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home