Opera Australia Forced to Postpone Brisbane’s Ring Cycle… Again

Wagner’s Ring Cycle is one of those unique theatre experiences for any fan of opera. A 15-hour epic told across multiple sessions ranging from 5+ hours to a couple of hours each, it was supposed to take over the QPAC Lyric Theatre for virtually the whole month of November 2020. Alas, COVID-19 forced it to be postponed until this year, and scheduled to commence on 29 October 2021… Opera Australia has pulled the plug once more.

The decision was made due to the hard border closure being in place, resulting in a lot of uncertainty. In a statement from Opera Australia, “to protect the State from the current crisis that has taken hold in NSW and VIC, the performers and crew, as well as 80% of total ticket holders, will be unable to travel to Queensland for the production”.

Fortunately, for those eager to attend, rather than cancel the season all together, they are once again postponing it for a date to be confirmed. They are currently working “closely with the wonderfully talented team at Queensland Symphony Orchestra on both the Ring Cycle, and the co-production of Aida with Opera Queensland, ensuring that the seven years of planning that has already gone into this project, will not go to waste”.

For those who currently hold tickets for Ring Cycle or Aida, they are asked to be patient and be ensured they will be contacted in due course. How the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Lyric Theatre will be utilised during this empty period is unconfirmed.

As desperately disappointing as this news is, we understand that the safety and well-being of not only our performing Company, but the entire community is the absolute number one priority.

I really want to thank the tireless efforts and enduring patience of everyone at Opera Australia but also our key partners in this project, Leanne Coddington and her team at Tourism and Events Queensland and John Kotzas from QPAC. As well as acknowledge the ongoing support from Brisbane Economic Development Agency. They’ve all worked so incredibly hard, exhausting every single option possible to try to get this amazing production to the stage.

And to all the artists who have been working so hard for many, many months preparing for this massive undertaking for Brisbane – this past year of uncertainty has had a terrible emotional and financial impact on them and I want to thank them for their strength, talent and resilience

Lyndon Terracini AM – Opera Australia Artistic Director

This epic opera season was certainly one of Australia’s most anticipated and significant cultural events of the year and to see it postponed again is just heart-breaking for all those behind the scenes as well as our patrons who’ve been waiting years to see this season.

“It was to bring together our country’s premiere voices and orchestral talent with international cast and creatives, the culmination of our partnership with OQ, QSO, QCGU and OA.

This kind of large-scale season is a wonderful tourism drawcard, attracting interstate and international visitors, as well as Queensland opera buffs and we all know that kind of travel is just not possible at the moment due to COVID.

Although we’re devastated this year’s season cannot go ahead we remain determined to work with all our partners to bring The Ring Cycle and Aida to our QPAC stage, so we encourage all our patrons to hold on to their tickets while we work towards a new date.

John Kotzas – QPAC Chief Executive

About Ring Cycle

Known simply as the Ring, Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is recognised internationally as a masterpiece and the pinnacle in operatic staging that attracts devotees from around the world, who immerse themselves in 15-hours of extraordinary musical and vocal performances over four glorious nights.

This production, by visionary Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng, was to be the first large scale performance of the full Ring Cycle to be held in Queensland and also the first fully digital version ever staged. The sets will incorporate huge, LED screens suspended from the ceiling and choreographed to move seamlessly around the stage, creating a striking visual landscape.

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