Washington National Opera (WNO) today announced several new initiatives as part of a long-range plan to build on its tradition of artistic excellence, including the Washington premiere of Richard Wagner’s complete “American Ring” cycle and a multipart New American Works Project for young American composers and librettists. Additionally, WNO announced it will add a holiday opera to its season schedule and expand its programming to include performances in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater next season. The Opera has also committed to create at least one new production each season.
“Washington National Opera is planning aggressively for our future seasons with a new confidence,” said Michael L. Mael, WNO Executive Director. “These initiatives are part of an even bolder artistic vision that builds on our successes while creating exciting performances for our audience as well as new opportunities for American artists.”
WNO will present three complete cycles of Richard Wagner’s epic four-part masterpiece Der Ring des Nibelungen in the spring of 2016. Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the best Ring cycles in more than a quarter of a century,” these performances will be the first time the Company has presented the Ring in complete cycles in its 56-year history.
“I am honored to finally bring my complete vision of the Ring back to its home at WNO,” said Francesca Zambello, the director of the cycle and WNO Artistic Advisor. “This ‘American Ring’ started and evolved here in Washington, and I’m looking forward to having our D.C. audience experience it in the intimacy of the Kennedy Center Opera House as a complete work as Wagner intended.”
Washington National Opera has previously presented the first three operas of the cycle individually: Das Rheingold in 2006, Die Walküre in 2007, and Siegfried in 2009. The fourth opera, Götterdämmerung, was presented in a concert staging in 2009.