Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD

Lyric Opera of Chicago launches its new season tonight with a new production of Wagner's Das Rheingold, the first opera of the epic four-part Ring cycle, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and directed by David Pountney.

Das Rheingold opens on Saturday, October 1, with six performances through October 22 at Lyric's Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets start at $34 and are available now at lyricopera.org/Rheingold or at 312-827-5600.

This marks the first time Lyric has opened a season with a work by Richard Wagner, notes Anthony Freud, the company's general director.

The story: The Nibelung dwarf Alberich (Samuel Youn/American debut) steals the gold belonging to the Rhinemaidens (Diana Newman, Annie Rosen, Lindsay Ammann/Lyric debut) after they scorn his amorous advances. Forging a ring from the magical metal, he becomes all-powerful, enslaving his brother Mime (Rodell Rosel) and the rest of the Nibelungs. Eric Owens portrays Wotan, the chief god, who learns of the ring's power and travels to Nibelheim with Loge (Štefan Margita), the demigod of fire. Wotan tricks and captures Alberich, steals the ring (and the rest of the Rhinegold), and is cursed by Alberich. The earth-goddess Erda (Okka von der Damerau/American operatic debut) warns Wotan of dire consequences. Urged by his wife Fricka (Tanja Ariane Baumgartner/American debut), Wotan pays the giants Fasolt (Wilhelm Schwinghammer/Lyric debut) and Fafner (Tobias Kehrer/Lyric debut) with the ring and the rest of the stolen gold for having built Valhalla, the gods' new fortress, and also as ransom for Fricka's sister Freia (Laura Wilde), whom they hold hostage. Without Freia's golden apples, Wotan, Fricka, Donner (Zachary Nelson/Lyric debut), and Froh (Jesse Donner) have grown weak. Fulfilling Alberich's curse, Fafner kills Fasolt and keeps the ring. The gods enter Valhalla with no clue what's to come in the next installments of the four-part Ring cycle (which inspired Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy).

Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric's music director, conducts the new production directed by David Pountney. The late Johan Engels was the original set designer. Robert Innes Hopkins is set designer, Marie-Jeanne lecca is costume designer, Fabrice Kebour is lighting designer, and Denni Sayers is choreographer.

Over the course of four seasons Lyric will tell the full story of the Ring, with one new production each season through 2020: Die Walküre in 2017-18, Siegfried in 2018-19, and Götterdämmerung in 2019-20. Following the regular season in the spring of 2020, the full Ring cycle will be presented three times over the course of three weeks - a phenomenal undertaking that attracts audiences from around the world.

high res photos

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD

Photo Flash: A New Ring Begins with the Lyric's DAS RHEINGOLD
The Cast of DAS RHEINGOLD



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