Projected Economic Impact of Wagner’s Ring Estimated at $39 million – Thousands of Opera Lovers from 50 States and 22 Countries Come to Seattle

Seattle Opera - Ring 2013Seattle—the Ring is almost here!
Seattle Opera’s award-winning production of Wagner’s Ring returns for three complete cycles in this Wagner bicentennial year, August 4 through August 25.
A forecast prepared by Professor William B. Beyers of the University of Washington estimated that Seattle Opera’s 2013 Ring will have a total economic impact of $39 million, supporting 755 jobs and labor income of $17.5 million.
These estimates are based on ticket sales data and estimates of patron expenditures, including travel, food and beverage, accomodations, entertainment, and other costs.
Opera lovers from all 50 states and 22 foreign countries are coming to Seattle for an unforgettable experience of story, music, spectacle, and community.
Single ticket prices (for performances) begin at $175.
Tickets are still available for all Ring events except the August 14 Symposium.

Principal Guest Conductor Asher Fisch, named “among the finest Ring conductors of our time” by Opus Magazine, leads his first complete cycle in North America.
British soprano Alwyn Mellor makes her Seattle Opera debut as Brünnhilde, as does German tenor Stefan Vinke as Siegfried.
Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley returns as Wotan, the role for which he won the Seattle Opera Artist of the Year Award in 2005.
Also returning are Richard Paul Fink as Alberich, Margaret Jane Wray as Sieglinde and the Third Norn, Stuart Skelton as Siegmund, Dennis Petersen as Mime, Daniel Sumegi as Fafner and Hagen, Andrea Silvestrelli as Fasolt and Hunding, Luretta Bybee as Schwertleite and the First Norn, and Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, the Second Norn, and Waltraute (Götterdämmerung).
Also making their debuts in this production are Markus Brück as Donner and Gunther, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Freia, Gerhilde, and Gutrune, Mark Schowalter as Loge, and Lucille Beer as Erda.
The Rhine Daughters and other roles will be sung by Jennifer Zetlan, Cecelia Hall (debut), and Renée Tatum (debut).
Stephen Wadsworth returns to direct this beloved production, which has become known as the “Green” Ring because of its focus on nature; sets are designed by Thomas Lynch, costumes by the late Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski.

Press Contacts:
Jonathan Dean

Visuals Contact:
Monte Jacobson

Der Ring des Nibelungen By Richard Wagner
In German with English Captions
All performances take place at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA

Tickets: Single tickets start at $175
Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676, 800.426.1619,

OPERA                         CYCLE I                          CYCLE II                         CYCLE III
Das Rheingold           Sunday, August 4          Monday, August 12         Tuesday, August 20
Die Walküre             Monday, August 5         Tuesday, August 13        Wednesday, August 21
Siegfried                    Wednesday, August 7    Thursday, August 15        Friday, August 23
Götterdämmerung    Friday, August 9           Saturday, August 17       Sunday, August 25

The Artists

Conductor: Asher Fisch
Director: Stephen Wadsworth
Set Designer: Thomas Lynch
Costume Designer: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Designer: Peter Kaczorowski
Fire Designer, Flight Technical Director: Charles Tim Buck
Hair and Makeup Designer: Joyce Degenfelder
English Captions: Jonathan Dean

Brünnhilde: Alwyn Mellor †
Siegfried: Stefan Vinke †
Wotan/The Wanderer: Greer Grimsley
Fricka/2nd Norn/Waltraute: Stephanie Blythe
Siegmund: Stuart Skelton
Sieglinde/3rd Norn: Margaret Jane Wray
Alberich: Richard Paul Fink
Mime: Dennis Petersen
Fafner/Hagen: Daniel Sumegi
Fasolt/Hunding: Andrea Silvestrelli
Loge: Mark Schowalter †
Donner/Gunther: Markus Brück †
Freia/Gerhilde/Gutrune: Wendy Bryn Harmer †
Erda: Lucille Beer †
Woglinde/Forest Bird: Jennifer Zetlan
Wellgunde/Rossweisse: Cecelia Hall †
Flosshilde/Grimgerde: Renee Tatum †
Froh: Ric Furman
Helmwige: Jessica Klein †
Waltraute in Die Walküre: Suzanne Hendrix †
Schwertleite/1st Norn: Luretta Bybee
Ortlinde: Tamara Mancini †
Siegrune: Sarah Heltzel

† Seattle Opera debut
Sarah Heltzel is a former Seattle Opera Young Artist.

Wagner Bicentennial Events Schedule

“Make Some Noise!” Open House
August 3, 2013; 10 am – 4 pm
McCaw Hall
Admission: Free + $5 for optional backstage tour
Bring the whole family for Ring kickoff fun, including hands-on activities exploring music-making and sound production, the incredible music, sculpture, and performances of Lelavision, the Seattle premiere of Seattle Opera’s final Our Earth opera, Every River Has Its People, with Seattle Youth Symphony, and more.

50th Birthday Bash
August 3, 2013; 7:00 PM
McCaw Hall
Admission: $250 or $500.
Kick off Seattle Opera’s Ring Festival and 50th Anniversary Season with a celebratory dinner hosted by General Director Speight Jenkins.

Inside the Ring with Sue Elliott
10 am – 1 pm each performance day
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: $100 for each cycle; $30 for individual talks
Seattle Opera Education Director Sue Elliott offers her insights into the themes, music, and historical context of all four operas in the Ring cycle.

Pre-Performance Talks with Rob McClung*
5:30 – 6:30 pm before Das Rheingold performances; 4:30 – 5:30 pm before performances of Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: $35 for each cycle
Community Programs Manager Rob McClung sets the stage with an informative and entertaining multimedia introduction before each performance.

Rheingold Revelry Opening Night Celebration*
McCaw Hall
$325—Champagne reception and late supper with a Ring artist at your table.
$225—Champagne reception and late supper.
Special post-performance celebration marking the opening of each Ring cycle.
Champagne reception followed by a late supper hosted by General Director Speight Jenkins and attended by Ring artists.

Q&A with Speight Jenkins*
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: free for ticketholders.
Join General Director Speight Jenkins for a post-performance discussion immediately following the conclusion of Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung.

August 2013 Ring Symposia
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: $70 per symposium, lunch available for additional fee

Cycle I Symposium: Tuesday, August 6; 10 am – 3 pm
Theme: “Why and how does Wagner’s Ring evoke extreme devotion and aversion?”
Participants: Lydia Goehr, Roger Parker, Kenneth Rheinhard, Stephen Wadsworth, and Asher Fisch

Cycle II Symposium: Wednesday, August 14; 10 am – 3 pm
Theme: “What aspects of Wagner’s alchemy contribute to the Ring’s infinite breadth and depth?”
Participants: Michael Hackett, Mark Berry, François Rochaix, Asher Fisch

Cycle III Symposium: Thursday, August 22; 10 am – 3 pm
Theme: “How do the spatial and temporal dimensions of Wagner’s Ring influence its performance, its legacy, and the audience’s experience?”
Participants: Pamela Rosenberg, Arthur Groos, Peter Kazaras, Asher Fisch

Speight’s Retrospective
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: $50
Join Speight Jenkins for an enthralling exploration of his life and the Ring, from his youthful discovery of Wagner’s epic music drama to reflections on being at the helm of Seattle Opera’s productions of the Wagner operas.
Cycle I: Tuesday, August 6; 6 – 7:30 pm
Cycle II: Wednesday, August 14; 6 – 7:30 pm
Cycle III: Thursday, August 22; 6 – 7:30 pm

Tech Talks with Robert Schaub
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Admission: $15
Technical Director Robert Schaub discusses the “Top 10” technical challenges in bringing Wagner’s story to life.
Cycle I: Thursday, August 8; 10 – 11:30 am
Cycle II: Friday, August 16; 10 – 11:30 am
Cycle III: Saturday, August 24; 10 – 11:30 am

Wagner Sketches
Leo K. Theatre at Seattle Rep
Admission: $30
Prepare for the End of the World with some Serious Fun! Seattle Repertory Theatre and Seattle Opera present an evening showcasing the best-of-the-best comedic shorts: think Second City meets Bayreuth.
Cycle I: Thursday, August 8; 7:30 pm
Cycle II: Friday, August 16; 7:30 pm
Cycle III: Saturday, August 24; 7:30 pm

KING FM Ring Broadcasts
August 10, 17, 24, and 31. Speight Jenkins’ preview begins at 6 pm, with the opera beginning at 7 pm each night on Classic KING FM, 98.1 and

BRAVO! Club’s Laser Ring
Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome (200 2nd Ave N)
August 11, 2013, 6:30 & 8:30 pm (2 showings)
Admission: $10
Back by popular demand! Join Seattle Opera’s BRAVO! Club, the nation’s largest organization for opera-goers in their 20s and 30s, for a night of Ring music set to lasers, à la Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Casual attire is encouraged, as are pillows and blankets if you want to get even cozier inside the Laser Dome. Movie theater-style snacks, beer, and wine available for purchase.

* Denotes events for performance ticket holders only

Valhalla Sponsor: Nesholm Family Foundation / John F. and Laurel Nesholm
Festival Sponsor: Lufthansa
Additional Support: Carol Franc Buck Foundation
Official Hotel Sponsor: Grand Hyatt Seattle

About Seattle Opera
Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.
The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and 50 states.


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