The War Memorial Opera House remains closed by COVID-19, but beginning Friday, March 5, San Francisco Opera’s “Ring Festival” resounds once more, to run through the month. Online, of course.
Then, on Saturday, March 6, begins free streaming of the company’s 2018 production of the Ring itself. The festival (see details below) is accessible at a $99 charge for all, or $15 for individual events. The four operas stream free, each from Saturday 10 a.m. to Sunday midnight only.
March 6–7: Das Rheingold
March 13–14: Die Walküre
March 20–21: Siegfried
March 27–28: Götterdämmerung
The $99 Festival Pass grants access to all ancillary content live and on-demand, plus invitations to the Festival Opening Salute and Festival Closing Toast events. Free Ring Festival passes are available for high school and college students and teachers. Send an email to [email protected] from your school address with address and phone number to get a free Festival Pass.
The opening Festival event, which remains available on-demand, is on Zoom, beginning at 1 p.m. PST on Friday:
Ring director Francesca Zambello, conductor Donald Runnicles, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley (Wotan), and General Director Matthew Shilvock open the festival discussing the Company’s 2018 production.
Other Festival events includes interviews with such stars as Jane Eaglen, Nina Stemme, Grace Bumbry, Mattila, and Brandon Jovanovich. Also participating in Zoomed discussions are New Yorker critic and Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music author Alex Ross, SF Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman, and playwright Tony Kushner.
Introductory lectures for the four operas by SF Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Dr. Clifford Cranna at 1 p.m. PST Saturdays; and presentations on topics ranging from “The Ring and Feminism” with Naomi André, Miller and Zambello; “The Ring and the Environment” with Kirsten Paige and Zambello; “The History of the Ring in San Francisco.”
Also, a conversation with Grace Bumbry about becoming the first Black singer to perform at Bayreuth, hosted by Kenneth Overton; food and wine in the Ring by Fred Plotkin and Barton; and a look at legendary Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad’s SF Opera career by writer Paul Thomason, co-hosted with the Kirsten Flagstad Museum in Norway. All live events take place on Zoom, allowing participants the opportunity to ask questions of the artists and presenters.