The Ring

Ring Activities

Looking for a way to stay immersed in the world of Wagner’s gods and goddesses in between performances? We’ve got a whole host Ring activities for you! Hoping to gain some insight into the historical, psychological, or musical context of Wagner’s epic? There’s a vast range of lecture options, including symposia with Ring scholars and in-depth discussions with General Director Speight Jenkins. Want to get a peek into the creation of the sets and special effects? Head to Robert Schaub’s Tech Talks. And for a unique theatrical interpretation of Wagner’s saga, grab your cowboy hat for the country and western Ring parody, Das Barbecü, presented by ACT.


Exploring the Ring:

In-depth, three-hour seminars about the evening’s opera hosted by General Director Speight Jenkins, who will offer insight into the themes, music, and historical context of the production for the first time since 1995.

Exploring Das Rheingold: August 9, 17, 25, 10 a.m.
Exploring Die Walküre: August 10, 18, 26, 10 a.m.
Exploring Siegfried: August 12, 20, 28, 10 a.m.
Exploring Götterdämmerung: August 14, 22, 30, 10 a.m.

Ring Tech Talks: August 13, 21, and 29; 10 a.m.– 11:30 a.m.
Technical Director Robert Schaub leads exciting discussions about the stage magic and technical wizardry behind the Ring.

Overtures to the Opera: A brief overview of the evening’s opera, hosted by Education Artistic Administrator Jonathan Dean.
August 9, 17, and 25 at 5:30 p.m.; on all other performance days: 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are available from the Box Office starting at 4:00 p.m. on any performance day, or by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619.


A variety of Wagner scholars will offer insight into the complexities of the Ring from their own unique perspectives. In addition to the speakers listed below, each panel will be joined by Portland Opera’s Director of Artistic Administration and former Ring production coordinator Clare Burovac and an additional guest speaker from the cast or artistic staff. Past symposia have been sell-out events, so we highly encourage you to book your tickets early.

Symposium I: August 11, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Speakers include: Martin Bernheimer, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York correspondent for the Financial Times and Opera magazine; Agustín Blanco-Bazán, deputy director of the International Maritime Organization and music correspondent at Bayreuth Festival.

Clare Burovac will interview Stephanie Blythe (Fricka, Second Norn, and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung) and director Stephen Wadsworth.

Symposium II: August 19, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Speakers include: Stewart Spencer, British author of several Wagner books; William Berger, author of several books on opera and radio producer for the Metropolitan Opera.

Clare Burovac will interview Greer Grimsley (Wotan/The Wanderer) and Maestro Robert Spano.

Symposium III: August 27, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Speakers include: Barry Millington, London Evening Standard’s chief music critic, academic consultant for BBC Music Magazine, and author of Wagner;
Philip Kennicott, architecture and culture critic for the Washington Post, Gramophone columnist, and frequent contributor to Opera News.(Kennicott replaces previously announced speaker Anne Midgette.)

Clare Burovac will interview Gordon Hawkins (Donner and Gunther) and set designer Thomas Lynch.


Post-show Q&As with General Director Speight Jenkins follow every performance of Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. There will be no post-show discussion after performances of Das Rheingold.

August 10, 12, 14; August 18, 20, 22; August 26, 28, 30
Immediately following the performance. Free for Ticketholders


ACT presents: Das Barbecü

An irreverent and giddy send up of Wagner’s Ring transposes the epic opera to the wide open spaces of Texas. With five actors playing more than 30 roles at breakneck speed, this irresistible musical comedy from Seattle composer Scott Warrender and lyricist Jim Lugis was originally commissioned by Seattle Opera and produced by ACT in 1995.

Dates:August 11, 13, 19, 21, 27, and 29
Time:Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.


Rheingold Revelry:

A special celebration following each cycle’s performance of Das Rheingold. The event features a champagne reception and late supper hosted by General Director Speight Jenkins, with several Ring artists in attendance. Learn More

BRAVO! Club’s Laser Ring

Join Seattle Opera’s BRAVO! Club (the nation’s largest organization for opera-goers in their 20’s and 30’s) for their 5th annual Laser Opera Show, featuring a program of dramatic and lyrical opera arias set to lasers a la Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. This year, in celebration of Seattle Opera’s Ring cycle, we are featuring General Director Speight Jenkins’ playlist of his favorite Ring music as well as live commentary! Casual attire is encouraged, as are pillows and blankets if you want to get even cozier inside the Laser Dome. We’ll have movie theater-style snacks, beer, and wine available for purchase. Bring your friends and family members for this all-ages event!

Date: August 13, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm – Doors Open; 6:30 pm – Laser Ring
Location: Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome (200 2nd Ave N) Buy Tickets

TVs for Seattle Opera’s Behind the Scenes at the Ring are provided by:

Do opera lovers 'Tweet'? Now follow Seattle Opera on Twitter! Updated Daily.

Learn More

Listen KING FM Seattle Opera Channel Available On-line 24 hrs a day!

Listen Here

Bring a group to the opera and enjoy big discounts and a free ticket too!

Learn More

Photo Credit

Das Rheingold, 2005 © Rozarii Lynch