Act quickly if you want to ride ‘Ring’ in Seattle

  • By Mike Murray / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, August 4, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Seattle’s “Green Ring” is back, and that’s not the moss build-up in your lawn.

It’s Seattle Opera’s acclaimed production of Richard Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen,” the epic, four-opera marathon about gods and humans and mythical creatures and a magic ring that opens on Sunday with the first of what will be three performances of each complete cycle. The final performance is Aug. 28.

The company has earned an international reputation for its “Ring” production, which it has presented every four years since the 1970s.

The “Ring” put Seattle on the opera world map. Four years ago, the company unveiled an all-new production emphasizing in its design Wagner’s original focus on nature, hence the “green” label.

A visually and musically stunning production, the new “Ring” was a critical and box-office hit, playing to sold-out houses and earning universal praise from picky opera critics.

London’s Times Literary Supplement said the new version reaffirmed Seattle Opera’s stature “as North America’s preeminent Wagner house.”

That production is back, and so are the sold-out houses. Indeed, the only tickets remaining for this 30th anniversary production are standing-room only.

That’s not such a bad thing at the state-of-the-art McCaw Hall at Seattle Center, but Wagner fans need to be faster than a Valkyrie to get a ticket. That’s because there are only 18 standing-room spots for each opera performance. They will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis in person or by phone on the first day performance of the three, four-opera cycles.

The first cycle begins Sunday and tickets go on sale at noon that day. For the Aug. 15 and Aug. 23 opening dates, tickets go on sale at 9 a.m.

Seattle Opera’s ticket office is at 1020 John St., downtown Seattle. There’s also a ticket booth at McCaw Hall.

Tickets are $20 for each performance, $80 for the complete cycle. Before making plans to snare a ticket, call the box office at 206-389-7676 or 800-426-1619. The Seattle Opera Web site is

Stephen Wadsworth, who helped create this “Ring,” returns as director with Richard Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, in Seattle to conduct his first “Ring.”

Among the returning singers is the phenomenal Jane Eaglen as Brunnhilde. The Seattle artist is one of the world’s leading dramatic sopranos and among first-rank Wagnarian singers.

Seattle’s KING radio (98.1 FM) will broadcast previews of the opera and air live broadcasts of the performances beginning with “Das Rheingold” at 7 p.m. Aug. 13, “Die Walkure” at 7 p.m. Aug. 20; “Siegfried” at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 and “Gotterdammerung” at 6 p.m. Sept. 3.

More information at

Gary Smithphoto

Jane Eaglen returns to Seattle Opera’s “Ring” cycle.

Conductor Richard Spano.

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