Washington National Opera's Ring to Have American Theme

Classic Arts News   Washington National Opera's Ring to Have American Theme
Washington National Opera's upcoming production of Wagner's Ring cycle, which opens with Das Rheingold on March 25, will have a design inspired by history and landscape of the United States, according to the company.

The cycle, a co-production with San Francisco Opera, is directed by Francesca Zambello, with sets by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Anita Yavich.

"From the very beginning of Washington National Opera's discussions about the Ring, I wanted it to have an American atmosphere," general director Plšcido Domingo said in a statement. "I felt that this is not only an original, but also a proper concept for Ring in the capital of the United States and Francesca Zambello, the director, was very receptive to that."

Zambello said, "Working with Plšcido Domingo, we have coined the term 'American Ring,' and the designers and I are using American history, mythology, iconography, and landscape to set the operas."

"We are creating a world in some ways familiar to our audience but also one that will feel very mythic as we look to our country's rich imagery," she added. "The great themes of the Ring—nature, power, and corruption—resound through America's past."

In costume sketches provided by WNO, the goddess Erda is depicted as a Native American woman; Wotan wears a stylish, sharp-creased suit and an eye patch.

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