Seattle Opera - 2013 Ring

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Seattle Opera.

2013 Ring

Ring  Cycle Dates

Cycle I: August 4 - 9, 2013
Cycle II: August 12 - 17, 2013
Cycle III: August 20 - 25, 2013

Overview

By Richard Wagner

Wagner’s epic cycle has been the heart of Seattle Opera since 1975. This extraordinary artist took a wondrous legend from ancient northern Europe, arranged it into drama following the theatrical tradition of ancient southern Europe, and with the most compelling music hitherto created in the West, explored all the issues of the modern world. Political issues, about the warring of the tribes and nations, about labor and capitol and power struggles between competing ideologies. And psychological issues—stories about people from broken homes, about messed-up relationships between parents and children, about love and sex and marriage and unfulfillable need. And philosophical issues: a story that questions the nature of good, the origin of evil, and that climaxes in the death of a god. Whoever we are, we continue to find our story in the Ring. This award-winning Seattle Opera production, inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, was unveiled in 2001 to wide acclaim, and revived for sold-out audiences in 2005, 2009, and 2013. You can purchase a recording of the 2013 performances, conducted by Asher Fisch and starring a dream cast of the world’s leading Wagner singers, online and as a CD

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Synopsis

Das Rheingold, the prelude to the Ring, begins when the Nibelung dwarf Alberich steals the precious gold of the Rhine river in order to be avenged upon the pretty but scornful Rhine daughters. The ambitious sky god Wotan, in need of treasure to pay for the construction of a glorious castle in the sky, captures Alberich and pays off his own debt with the magic ring the dwarf made from the gold. But Alberich curses the ring, and the evil of the curse immediately causes bloodshed. As the gods cross a rainbow bridge to enter Valhalla, their splendid new castle, the forlorn cries of the bereft Rhine daughters remind us that all its glittering glory is a sham.

Die Walküre, which features the unforgettable “Ride Of The Valkyries” and the thrilling “Magic Fire Music,” is equal parts heady romance and high-stakes family drama. Deep in the forest, love blossoms between a dashing outlaw and a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. But their adulterous, incestuous coupling draws the ire of the goddess of marriage, who demands that the twins be punished. The Valkyrie Brünnhilde, moved by the pair’s overwhelming love, takes their side. Sieglinde escapes to bear her brother Siegmund’s son, while Wotan punishes Brünnhilde by casting her out of heaven and leaving her in an enchanted slumber—albeit protected by a threatening ring of fire.

The sunny comedy Siegfried follows the growth of the innocent young hero born of the incestuous twins. As the naïve boy seeks companionship—and tries to learn the meaning of fear—he frees himself from the treacherous dwarf Mime, liberates the ring from the dread dragon Fafner, shatters the spear of the mighty god Wotan, and rescues lovely Brünnhilde from her magical sleep and falls in love with her.

Götterdämmerung, the Ring’s overwhelming conclusion, features the beloved “Rhine Journey,” “Siegfried’s Funeral March,” and “Brünnhilde’s Immolation.” Its story moves from the gloomy prophecies of the three Norns who spin the web of fate, to the glorious union of Siegfried and Brünnhilde high atop their fire-surrounded rock, to the scheming machinations of Hagen, duplicitous advisor to the shallow King Gunther. Drugged into forgetting his vow of fidelity to Brünnhilde, Siegfried offers her to Gunther in exchange for Gunther’s lovely sister, Gutrune. In revenge, Brünnhilde betrays Siegfried, who gets stabbed in the back; but as atonement she sacrifices her own life, burns up the defunct gods in their heaven, cleanses the world of the curse on the ring, restores the stolen gold to the river, and makes possible a new beginning.

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The Ring in Review

Learn what the critics thought of the 2013 production of The Ring Cycle

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Cast

Alwyn Mellor

Brünnhilde

Seattle Opera Debut: Brunnhilde, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)

Hometown: Lancashire, England
Recently: Minnie, La fanciulla del West and Brünnhilde, Götterdämmerung (Opera North); Isolde, Tristan und Isolde (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Senta, The Flying Dutchman (Florentine Opera Company); Brünnhilde, Siegfried (Symphony Hall, Boston); Isolde, Tristan und Isolde (Opéra national de Bordeaux)

Last updated: December 2014

Alwyn Mellor

Brünnhilde

Seattle Opera debut

Stefan Vinke

Siegfried

German tenor Stefan Vinke makes his Seattle Opera debut as Siegfried, a role he first sang in Cologne (2006) and Venice (2008), followed by Lisbon, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Leipzig, Strasbourg, and Royal Opera Covent Garden. In Götterdämmerung he sang Siegfried in the Salzburg Easter Festival, Stuttgart, La Fenice, Lisbon, and Cologne. From 2006 to 2012 he was engaged by Leipzig Opera to sing lead tenor roles in all of their Wagner productions. Other Wagner appearances include Tristan in Tristan und Isolde and Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Bayreuth, Lohengrin in Berlin and Beijing, and Tristan in Hong Kong. Other roles include Paul in Die Tote Stadt at Opera Australia and Venice; Un Emigrante in Intolleranza in Munich and Venice; Don José in Carmen and Tristan in Warsaw; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos in Paris, Geneva, and Leipzig; and Tristan with Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Next season he will sing Parsifal at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Siegfried for Enescu Festival Bucharest, Seville, and Melbourne Opera, and later in Toronto and Barcelona.

Last Updated: August 2013

Stefan Vinke

Siegfried

Seattle Opera debut

Greer Grimsley

Wotan, The Wanderer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Telramund, Lohengrin (’94) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Scarpia, Tosca (’15); Wotan, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’05, ’09,’13); Don Pizarro, Fidelio (’12)

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Recently: Jochanaan, Salome (New National Theatre Tokyo); Scarpia, Tosca (San Diego Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Ravinia Festival)
Upcoming: Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera); Wotan, Die Walküre (New National Theatre Tokyo); Jochanaan, Salome (The Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

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Greer Grimsley

Wotan, The Wanderer

Stephanie Blythe

Fricka, 2nd Norn, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Ino/Juno, Semele

Hometown: Mongaup Valley, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Fricka, Das Rheingold (’00)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Fricka and Waltrautre (Götterdämmerung), Der Ring des Nibelungen ('13);  Mistress Quickly, Falstaff (’10); Isabella, L’italiana in Algeri (’08) 
Seattle Opera Artist of the Year: Amneris, Aida (’08)
Recently: Azucena, Il trovatore (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Gertrude Stein, Twenty-Seven (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (San Diego Opera)
Upcoming: Baba the Turk, The Rake’s Progress (Metropolitan Opera); Ms. Lovett, Sweeney Todd (San Francisco Opera)

Last Updated: February 2015

Stephanie Blythe

Fricka, 2nd Norn, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung

Stuart Skelton

Siegmund

Stuart Skelton made his Seattle Opera debut as Siegmund in 2009. He has also sung the role at the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, and in Adelaide, Zürich, and Hamburg. His other Wagner roles include Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, and Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer. Recent performances include the title role of Peter Grimes at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Opera de Oviedo, and at the BBC Proms; Lohengrin at the Dresden Semperoper; and Parsifal at the Zürich Opera. Other roles include Florestan in Fidelio, the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Laca in Jenufa, Samson in Samson et Dalila, and Canio in Pagliacci. Skelton has performed in Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Vienna, and throughout his native Australia. Future plans include Fidelio and Peter Grimes at the English National Opera, Siegmund at Opera Australia, and concert performances of Peter Grimes with both the San Francisco Symphony and London Philharmonic, as well as concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and BBC Symphony.

Last Updated: August 2013

Stuart Skelton

Siegmund

Margaret Jane Wray

Sieglinde, 3rd Norn

Margaret Jane Wray has sung Sieglinde and the Third Norn in Seattle Opera’s past three complete Ring cycles. Her other performances with the company include Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Amneris in Aida. Wray recently performed Isolde in Tristan und Isolde at Canadian Opera Company. At the Metropolitan Opera, Wray has sung Amneris, Brangäne, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Ortrud in Lohengrin, the Third Norn, Gutrune, and Sieglinde, a role she has also sung in Austin, Toulouse, and Nice. Wray’s performances overseas include Amneris at Welsh National Opera, Mme. Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites at Teatro alla Scala, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro at Paris Opéra-Bastille, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie and Teatro Regio, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Oper Frankfurt, Chrysothemis in Elektra in Berlin, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser in Toulouse, Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio in Catania, and Desdemona in Otello in Nice. Other US credits include Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer with Pittsburgh Opera and Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with Cincinnati Opera.

Last Updated: August 2013

Margaret Jane Wray

Sieglinde, 3rd Norn

Richard Paul Fink

Alberich

Richard Paul Fink made his Seattle Opera debut in 1996 as Gérard in Andrea Chénier. Other roles in Seattle have included Amonasro in Aida, Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizarro in Fidelio, and Klingsor in Parsifal, a role he has previously sung at the Metropolitan Opera. He has sung Alberich at every performance of the current Seattle Opera Ring, and at the Met, LA Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and San Francisco Opera. Additional performances at the Met include Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, George Wilson in The Great Gatsby, and Edward Teller in Doctor Atomic. This Ohio/Texas baritone has appeared with Paris Opéra-Bastille, Berlin State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, Opera La Fenice, Sydney Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, among others. Fink’s many other roles include the title roles of Der Fliegende Holländer, Wozzeck, Nabucco, Macbeth, and Rigoletto, Telramund in Lohengrin, the four villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Scarpia in Tosca, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, and Kissinger in Nixon in China.

Last updated: August 2013

Richard Paul Fink

Alberich

Dennis Petersen

Mime

Dennis Petersen returns for his second Ring cycle to perform Mime, a role he has previously sung at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has been a regular at the Met since 1995 with roles including Spoletta in Tosca, Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. Petersen has also returned to San Francisco Opera nearly every year since 1985 in roles such as Pang in Turandot, Goro in Madama Butterfly, and Monostatos. At the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, Petersen has performed Goro, the School Master in The Cunning Little Vixen, and will return to perform Bardolfo in Falstaff next year. Recent performances include Erdisi in King Roger at Santa Fe Opera and Herodes in Salome in Winnepeg. He has also performed at Minnesota Opera, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Upcoming engagements include the Detective in Muhly’s Two Boys and Incredible in Andrea Chénier at the Met.

Last Updated: August 2013

Dennis Petersen

Mime

Daniel Sumegi

Fafner, Hagen

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: The Bonze, Madame Butterfly; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict; Ramfis, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Zuniga, Carmen

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict (’18); Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville (’17); Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Fafner/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13)
Recently: Fasolt/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia)
Upcoming:  Pogner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia); Jokanaan, Salome (Israeli Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Malmö Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

Daniel Sumegi

Fafner, Hagen

Andrea Silvestrelli

Fasolt, Hunding

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Fasolt/Hunding, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Sparafucile, Rigoletto

Hometown: Ancona, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut: Fasolt/Hunding, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09)
Previously at Seattle Opera:  Fasolt/Hunding, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently: Don Basilio, Il barbiere di Siviglia (San Francisco Opera); Colline, La bohème, and Sparafucile, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Upcoming: Fafner, Das Rheingold (Houston Grand Opera)



Last Updated: January 2014

Andrea Silvestrelli

Fasolt, Hunding

Mark Schowalter

Loge

Mark Schowalter makes his Seattle Opera debut with his performance of Loge. Schowalter’s recent engagements include the role of Piet the Pot in György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic and Spalanzani in Les contes d’Hoffman and Mayor Upfold in Albert Herring at Santa Fe Opera. Currently in his seventeenth consecutive season at the Metropolitan Opera, he has performed a variety of supporting roles there, including Spalanzani, Jaquino in Fidelio, St. Brioche in Die Lustige Witwe, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, Kouzka in Khovanshchina, Tchaplitsky in Pique Dame, and L’Aumonier in this season’s revival of Dialogues des Carmélites. Other roles include Bob Boles in Peter Grimes at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan, and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy; the Youth in Moses und Aron with the Munich Philharmonic, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Florentine Opera; and Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the Festival de Lanaudière.

Last Updated: August 2013

Mark Schowalter

Loge

Seattle Opera debut

Markus Brück

Donner, Gunther

German baritone Markus Brück makes his US and Seattle Opera debut as Donner and Gunther. He has also performed these roles at Deutsche Opera Berlin, where he has been a member since 2001. In the 2012/13 season, he has performed the roles of Amfortas in Parsifal, Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Germont in La traviata, and Leander in The Love for Three Oranges, among others. His repertoire also includes Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La bohème, and Posa in Don Carlo. Brück has sung at the Bayreuth and Bregenz festivals, and guest engagements have led him to the Cologne Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Semperoper Dresden, Oper Frankfurt, Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, the State Operas in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart, the Volksoper Vienna, and to Istanbul, Seoul, Santiago, and Tokyo. Upcoming roles at Deutsche Oper Berlin include Gunther and Wotan (Das Rheingold), Falstaff, Rigoletto, Marcello, Don Giovanni, Captain Redburn (Billy Budd), and Chorèbe (Les Troyens).

Last updated: August 2013

Markus Brück

Donner, Gunther

Seattle Opera debut

Wendy Bryn Harmer

Freia, Gerhilde, Gutrune

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Senta, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Freia/Gerhilde/Gutrune, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)

Hometown: Roseville, CA
Recently: Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera); Leonore, Fidelio (Opera Omaha)
Upcoming:  Soprano Soloist, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (San Francisco Symphony); First Lady, The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera); Abigail Adams, My Dearest Friend (NY Symphony Space)

Last updated: April 2016

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Wendy Bryn Harmer

Freia, Gerhilde, Gutrune

Seattle Opera debut

Lucille Beer

Erda

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Mother, The Consul

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Erda, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently:  Verdi's Requiem (The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra); Messiah (Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra)
Upcoming: Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (Albany Symphony Orchestra); Evening of arias and duets (Portland Chamber Orchestra); Italian mezzo-soprano arias (Catskill High Peaks Festival)

Last Updated: February 2014

Lucille Beer

Erda

Seattle Opera debut

Jennifer Zetlan

Woglinde, Forest Bird

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Woglinde/Forest Bird, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Wilmington, DE
Seattle Opera Debut: The Flier, Amelia (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Musetta, La bohème (’13); Woglinde/Forest Bird, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently: Rebecca, Two Boys (Metropolitan Opera); Carmina Burana (National Chorale); arias from The Noblest Game (Seattle Symphony)
Upcoming: Stravinsky songs with orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra); soloist, amass by Jocelyn Hagen, NY Premiere (Musica Sacra); Soloist, Golijov Songs and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Lexington Philharmonic)


Last Updated: January 2014

Jennifer Zetlan

Woglinde, Forest Bird

Cecelia Hall

Wellgunde, Rossweisse

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Zerlina, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Durham, NC
Seattle Opera Debut: Wellgunde/Rossweisse, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently: Annio, La clemenza di Tito (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Page, Salome (Philadelphia Orchestra); Zaida, Il turco in Italia (Aix-en-Provence Festival)
Upcoming: Javotte, Manon (Metropolitan Opera); Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia (Canadian Opera Company); Don Ramiro, La finta giardiniera (Santa Fe Opera)


Last updated: October 2014

Cecelia Hall

Wellgunde, Rossweisse

Seattle Opera debut

Renée Tatum

Flosshilde, Grimgerde

Renée Tatum makes her Seattle Opera debut as Flosshilde, a role she has previously performed at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. She also sings Grimgerde in Die Walküre. She spent the 2012/13 season as a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, where she sang mainstage performances of Emilia in Otello and Adonella in Francesca da Rimini. Other roles at the Metropolitan Opera include Fenena in Nabucco and Inez in Il trovatore. In the 2011/12 season, Tatum also performed Medea in Handel’s Teseo with Chicago Opera Theater, La Haine in Gluck’s Armide and Hata in The Bartered Bride in co-productions between The Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School, and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with San Francisco Opera. Upcoming 2013/14 performances include Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Second Sprite in Rusalka, Voice of the Unborn in Die Frau ohne Schatten with the Metropolitan Opera, and Flosshilde in Das Rheingold with Houston Grand Opera.

Last Updated: August 2013

Renée Tatum

Flosshilde, Grimgerde

Seattle Opera debut

Ric Furman

Froh

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tenor/Bacchus, Ariadne auf Naxos

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Seattle Opera Debut: Florestan, Fidelio (’12)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Froh, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently: Bacchus, Ariadne auf Naxos (Virginia Opera); Siegmund, Die Walküre (Queen City Chamber Opera); Florestan, Fidelio (Shippensburg Festival)

Last updated: January 2014

Ric Furman

Froh

Jessica Klein

Helmwige

Jessica Klein makes her Seattle Opera debut as Helmwige. Recent performances include Anna in Intermezzo and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera and Giorgetta in Il tabarro at Castleton Festival. Other roles include Alice Ford in Falstaff, Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town, and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She graduated from the Juilliard Opera Center in 2009. Klein has also sung in various concerts at Avery Fisher Hall: she debuted as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Manhattan Youth Orchestra and returned as Clorinda in La Cenerentola for the Tucker Foundation Gala and as the Confidant in Elektra.

Jessica Klein

Helmwige

Seattle Opera debut

Suzanne Hendrix

Waltraute in Die Walküre

Suzanne Hendrix makes her Seattle Opera debut as Waltraute (Die Walküre). Previous Wagner roles include Schwertleite in Die Walküre at San Francisco Opera and Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer at Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She recently performed the Fortune Teller in Arabella at Santa Fe Opera, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia at Opera Memphis, and Azucena in Il trovatore at Wichita Grand Opera. Other roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Ma in The Tender Land, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, the Princess in Suor Angelica, and Florence Pike in Albert Herring. She is a former apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, Merola Opera Program, and the Santa Fe Opera. She won first prize in the 2012 George London Competition.

Last updated: July 2013

Suzanne Hendrix

Waltraute in Die Walküre

Seattle Opera debut

Luretta Bybee

Schwertleite, 1st Norn

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Mary, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: War and Peace, 1990
Previously at Seattle Opera: Schwertleite and First Norn, Der Ring des Nibelungen 2013; Amanda, Amelia 2010; Klytämnestra, Elektra, 2008

Hometown: Midland, TX
Recently: Mary, The Flying Dutchman (Opera Carolina); Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd (Vancouver Opera); Madame de la Haultiere, Cendrillon (New Orleans Opera)
Upcoming: Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera and New Orleans Opera); Dame Marthe, Faust (Houston Grand Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

Luretta Bybee

Schwertleite, 1st Norn

Tamara Mancini

Ortlinde

Tamara Mancini makes her Seattle Opera debut as Ortlinde. A former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, she performed in their mainstage productions as Freia in Das Rheingold and Helmwige in Die Walküre. She recently performed the title role in Turandot at Royal Opera Stockholm; Palácio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Other roles include Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Leonora in La forza del destino, Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, and the title role in Tosca.

Tamara Mancini

Ortlinde

Seattle Opera debut

Sarah Heltzel

Siegrune

Sarah Heltzel made her Seattle Opera debut in 2005 as Siegrune and Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen. As a Seattle Opera Young Artist, Heltzel performed the roles of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. She has performed with Indianapolis, Nevada, Syracuse, Toledo, Tacoma, and Chautauqua operas, Opera in the Heights, Opera on the James, and New York City Opera, as well as with Seattle Symphony, Symphony Syracuse, and Boston Philharmonic. Performances include the title role in Carmen, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Azucena in Il trovatore, Desideria in The Saint of Bleecker Street, Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. She was seen most recently at Seattle Opera as Flora in La traviata.

Last Updated: July 2013

Sarah Heltzel

Siegrune

Cast

Creative Team

Stephen Wadsworth

Director

Stephen Wadsworth has directed at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Nederlandse Opera, Edinburgh Festival, and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Santa Fe. He made his Seattle Opera debut 29 years ago with Jenufa; and has returned for the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia (for which he also wrote the story), Iphigénie en Tauride (a coproduction with the Metropolitan Opera), Orphée et Eurydice, Xerxes, and Wagner’s Lohengrin, Der Fliegende Holländer, and the Ring (2001, 2005, and 2009). Wadsworth has staged much-traveled productions of plays by Shakespeare, Molière, Marivaux, Goldoni, Shaw, Wilde, and Coward. Wadsworth wrote the libretto for the opera A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein, and directed the world premieres of Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow and Peter Lieberson’s Ashoka’s Dream, as well as new plays by Beth Henley and Anna Deavere Smith. He has translated a number of works for the stage, including works by Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart. The French government named him a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his work on Molière and Marivaux. Wadsworth is Head of Dramatic Studies at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and Director of Opera Studies at the Juilliard School, where he has launched the first intensive acting program for opera singers. He is a Grammy nominee, a Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence at the Aspen Institute, a 2013 Sundance Theatre Lab playwrighting fellow, twice a Seattle Opera Artist of the Year, and a Rainier Club Artist Laureate.

Last updated: July 2013

Stephen Wadsworth

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Asher Fisch

Conductor

Asher Fisch is currently Seattle Opera’s Principal Guest Conductor. He made his Seattle Opera debut conducting Parsifal in the opening performance of McCaw Hall in 2003, and returned for Lohengrin; Der Rosenkavalier (for which he won Artist of the Year); Der Fliegende Holländer; Tristan und Isolde; Turandot; and Fidelio. He has formerly served as Music Director of Israeli Opera (1998-2008) and the Wiener Volksoper (1995-2000). He recently conducted Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera; Rigoletto at Dresden Semperoper; Don Carlo at Bayerische Staatsoper; The Merry Widow at Opéra National de Paris; and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci at Wiener Staatsoper. He is a regular guest at European opera houses, including Berlin Staatsoper, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Paris Opera, Dresden Semperoper, and Royal Opera Covent Garden, among others. In the US, he has conducted at LA Opera, the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Houston Grand Opera. Among the North American symphony orchestras, Fisch has conducted those of Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Toronto, and Montreal. In Europe, he has conducted the Munich Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, Dresdner Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, among others. In September he will take up the baton as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth, and he will conduct Salome, Parsifal, and Ariadne auf Naxos, among others, at Bayerische Staatsoper next year.

Last Updated: July 2013

Asher Fisch

Conductor

Thomas Lynch

Set Designer

Thomas Lynch has designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera (Rodelinda and Iphigénie en Tauride), New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Nederlandse Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper. He made his Seattle Opera debut designing Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice in 1988, and has returned for Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Iphigénie en Tauride, Xerxes, Amelia, and Der Ring des Nibelungen. His more than 250 theater credits include designs for Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, McCarter Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT, Mark Taper Forum, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Lynch’s extensive Broadway and West End credits include Tony nominations for The Heidi Chronicles and The Music Man. Lynch has received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in New York Off-Broadway design, an Obie for the 2005 Woman Before a Glass, the Elliot Norton Award, two Joseph Jefferson Awards, and, for Seattle Opera’s 2001 Ring, an Eddy (Entertainment Design) award. Lynch won a Seattle Opera Artist of the Year award in 2008 for his work on Der Fliegende Holländer and Iphigénie en Tauride.

Last Updated: July 2013

Thomas Lynch

Set Designer

Martin Pakledinaz

Costume Designer

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Orphée et Eurydice (’88)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Der Ring des Nibelungen (’01, ’05, ’09); Lohengrin (’94, ’04); Iphigénie en Tauride (’07)

Martin Pakledinaz designed costumes around the world for the most prominent houses in opera, dance, and theater. His designs have been seen at Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, and houses in France, Japan, Austria, and Germany. He designed for such dance companies as Mark Morris Dance Group, San Francisco Ballet, and New York City Ballet, and his designs were also often seen on Broadway, where he won two Tony Awards.

Martin Pakledinaz

Costume Designer

Charles T. Buck

Fire Designer and Flight Technical Director

Before receiving his Master’s degree at the University of Washington Charles Tim Buck toured the US with a variety of road shows from classical ballet to rock and roll. His fire design artistry began with expertise he learned in the military and further developed working special effects on numerous films and pyrotechnics on large firework shows. Buck became Seattle Opera’s Master Stage Carpenter in 1990. His many designs and contributions to Seattle Opera include the fireworks in Ariadne auf Naxos, Brünnhilde’s protective fire in Die Walküre, the harness design used internationally for hanging Billy Budd and those of the Rhine Daughters in this current production of Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Charles T. Buck

Fire Designer and Flight Technical Director

Peter Kaczorowski

Lighting Designer

Peter Kaczorowski made his Seattle Opera debut designing the lighting for Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice in 1988. Other productions with the company include Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, and the Ring (2001, 2005, and 2009), Xerxes, Vanessa, Romeo et Juliette, and Ariadne auf Naxos. He has designed for the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, LAMCO, and Santa Fe Opera among many others. Abroad, he has designed for Royal Opera Covent Garden, Scottish Opera, Opera/North, Teatro La Fenice, L’Arena di Verona. On Broadway, he has designed more than 50 plays and musicals including this upcoming season’s double bill of Waiting for Godot/No Man’s Land and Beautiful; as well as The Assembled Parties, Venus in Fur, Grey Gardens, A View From The Bridge, and The Producers. His work is regularly seen at Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Encores! at City Center, and regionally at Seattle Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. He is the recipient of the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Dramalogue, Eddy, and Hewes design awards.

Last updated: July 2013

Peter Kaczorowski

Lighting Designer

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Hair and Makeup Designer (Los Angeles, CA)

Joyce Degenfelder’s association with Seattle Opera began in 1992 with The Ballad of Baby Doe. In 2003, Degenfelder made her Seattle Opera design debut with Parsifal, and ever since she has designed makeup and wigs for all of Seattle Opera’s productions. In addition to her work with Seattle Opera, she is also wig master for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ACT Theater. Her work has been seen around the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

Read our interview with Joyce Degenfelder HERE.

Last Updated: October 2015

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Hometown: Okemos, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Le nozze di Figaro ('97)
In-House Dramaturg for Seattle Opera
Previously at Seattle Opera:
English Captions Titlist (from Carmen '95 to Carmen '04); pre-performance lecturer (from Lohengrin '04 through Amelia '10); creator of the children’s operas Theft of the Gold and Siegfried and the Ring of Fire

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

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PLAN YOUR VISIT

All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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The Ring At Seattle Opera

The Seattle Opera is internationally known for its Ring cycles. Learn more about the Ring and its performance history.

Discover The Ring

Main Photo © Alan Alabastro | Photos © Elise Bakketun, © Alan Alabastro, © Elise Bakketun