MUSIC DIRECTOR JAMES CONLON AND LA OPERA’S 2010 WAGNER RING CYCLE TO BE AUDIO-STREAMED IN MARATHON BACK-TO-BACK WEBCAST OF ALL FOUR MUSIC DRAMAS, SATURDAY, JULY 25 STARTING AT 8:00 A.M. PACIFIC TIME
Webcast commemorates 10th anniversary of performances, which marked the
first complete presentation of Wagner’s Ring cycle produced in Los Angeles
Mr. Conlon provides insight into the Ring via his popular pre-performance talks, a mainstay of each LA Opera season, including in 2010 when these talks were recorded; Mr. Conlon also discusses the cycle on LA Opera’s James Conlon at Home podcast and Coffee with Conlon discussion series
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (July 17, 2020) — Ten years after presenting Wagner’s epic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen in its first complete staging produced in the city of Los Angeles, Music Director James Conlon and LA Opera invite online audiences to experience these historic performances through a marathon audio stream of all four music dramas back-to-back on Saturday, July 25. Listen via LA Opera’s Facebook channel (@LAOpera) or at LAOpera.org/Ring, and see below to learn about Wagner’s Ring cycle with Mr. Conlon.
Das Rheingold begins at 8:00 a.m. PT, with Die Walküre following at 11:00 a.m. PT, Siegfried at 3:00 p.m. PT, and Götterdämmerung at 7:00 p.m. PT.
In the most recent episode of LA Opera’s James Conlon at Home podcast, “Reflections on the Ring,” Mr. Conlon said:
“The 2010 production of Wagner’s full Der Ring des Nibelungen represented a major milestone in the still relatively short existence of LA Opera, as Los Angeles had never seen an indigenous production. Giving birth to this mammoth four-opera cycle is a major undertaking that challenges and defines an opera company. We set out to forge a heroic sword as Siegfried does, and carry it through a rite of passage and into a new era of maturity.
“Now, on this occasion, the 2020 re-broadcasting of the LA Opera Ring on its tenth anniversary, the unlimited emotional force of the music can be experienced in a special way. The ear is the direct medium to the heart and its emotions. Whether “interpreted” as Freudian or Jungian, Marxist or Keynesian, as social criticism, political science or spiritual tract, the whole is greater than the interpretations, its fullness more powerful than its reduction. It is the conductor’s task to realize both the primordial power of the music and its drama. The two are intertwined and inseparable.”
To enrich the experience of these performances, Mr. Conlon also brings back his popular pre-performance talks from 2010. Like all of his pre-performance talks in Stern Grand Hall, these draw upon musicology, literary studies, history and social sciences to share with the audience the enduring power and relevance of the music. Discussions of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre are currently available:
Two days prior to the marathon webcast, Mr. Conlon will also discuss the Ring in Episode 3 of Coffee with Conlon, on Thursday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m. PT. In this LA Opera at Home series, Mr. Conlon explores topics in opera over a virtual cup of coffee with viewers, who may submit questions in advance here. Watch Coffee with Conlon at LAOpera.org/LAOatHome or Facebook.com/LAOpera.
About James Conlon
James Conlon, one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. He has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, frequent television appearances and guest speaking engagements, Mr. Conlon is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.
Mr. Conlon is Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera (since 2006) and Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy (since 2016), where he is the first American to hold the position since the orchestra was founded in 1931. As LA Opera Music Director since 2006, Mr. Conlon has led more performances than any other conductor in the company’s history—to date, nearly 400 performances of more than 50 different operas by over 20 composers. His recordings of LA Opera productions have received four Grammy® Awards, two respectively for John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
An enthusiastic advocate of public scholarship, Mr. Conlon leads pre-performance talks at LA Opera, drawing upon musicology, literary studies, history, and social sciences to contemplate—together with his audience—the enduring power and relevance of opera and classical music in general. Additionally, he frequently collaborates with universities, museums, and other cultural institutions, and works with scholars, practitioners, and community members across disciplines.
Mr. Conlon holds four honorary doctorates and has received numerous other awards, including France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, which he personally accepted from then-President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.
For more information, visit JamesConlon.com