Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring) is a towering example of 19th century Germany’s artistic legacy. Wagner spent twenty-six years on the composition of the Ring, which comprises four separate operas designed to be performed in sequence. Although Das Rheingold is the first opera in the series, its libretto was the last to be written.
Conducting the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert performance of Das Rheingold is celebrated Australian and Hamburg Philharmonic Musical Director Simone Young. The first woman to conduct a complete Ring Cycle, in 1999, Simone has since led complete performances of the cycle in Berlin and most recently Hamburg.
Returning to Brisbane for the Hamburg season, Simone will lead the Hamburg State Opera, of which she is General Manager, alongside guest singers, some of whom have performed at Bayreuth, the theatre where the first complete Ring Cycle was seen in 1876.
“I like to view an orchestra ... as a living organism that one has to look after, one has to cherish, sometimes one has to challenge, sometimes one has to provoke. ... it's an organism that is providing me with a response ... together we create something special.” Simone Young
Join Simone Young, members of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and opening night VIP guests at The Wagner Premiere Experience on Thursday 23 August.
Please also be aware, if you exit during the performance readmittance is not permitted. Please speak to a QPAC staff member for an alternate viewing position.
Eike Wilm Schulte
Das Rheingold Symposium
Conservatorium Theatre, Friday 24 August 2012
To mark the eagerly-awaited Brisbane concert performances of Wagner's Das Rheingold by the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, an all-day Symposium will be held in the Conservatorium Theatre within Brisbane's South Bank arts precinct.
This Symposium, which is open to the general public, will be devoted to Das Rheingold, the preliminary evening to The Ring of the Nibelung, Wagner's vast musical/ dramatic work that is one of the greatest achievements of western art. Expert speakers will explore the socially enlightened ideas that shaped Das Rheingold; its unique place in the history of opera; its anticipation of cinematic techniques long before the invention of that art form, and Wagner's exceptional demands on singers, orchestras and designers.
Conductor Simone Young will take part in the Symposium, as will dramatic soprano Lisa Gasteen, celebrated for her performances as Brünnhilde, Isolde and other major Wagnerian roles around the world. By way of a musical interlude during the Symposium, there will be a performance of the rarely-heard Seven Pieces for Goethe's Faust. Wagner was just eighteen when he composed this song cycle, the same age as many of the Conservatorium students who will perform it.
Download the Symposium Newsletter [PDF 931KB]
The Symposium is being organized by the Wagner Society in Queensland in association with the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.
Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
For over 180 years the Hamburg Philharmonic has set the tone in Hamburg. Founded on 9 November 1828, the Philharmonische Gesellschaft soon became a meeting point for the greatest musicians such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. Outstanding conductors led the orchestra: Gustav Mahler conducted many works including the first performance of his 5th Symphony, then Sergej Prokowjew, Igor Stravinsky and Otto Klemperer. Famous artistic directors and conductors such as Karl Boehm, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Aldo Ceccato, Gerd Albrecht and Ingo Metzmacher cultivated the repertoire and the remarkable orchestral sound....
Find out more about the history of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra [PDF 57KB]
At first glance, Richard Wagner’s great cycle of four music dramas - The Ring of the Nibelung - appears to be a mythical story about a golden ring that is made, lost, cursed and coveted by Alberich the Nibelung. In the Ring’s preliminary evening, Das Rheingold, these events are vividly and wonderfully portrayed. But the work is much more than just a mythical tale...
Find out more about Das Rheingold [PDF 64KB]
Who is Richard Wagner?
Photographs of Wagner taken in later life give the impression of a prosperous patriarch, content with his lot and settled in his ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, for Wagner was a restless spirit to the end. He was also one of the most influential and controversial figures in European culture...
Find out more about Richard Wagner [PDF 66KB]
The Hamburg Conversation Series
Don't miss this series of free one hour conversations in the Lyrebird Restaurant on Sunday afternoons providing an informative and entertaining introduction to aspects of the Hamburg Season
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