The Ring of the Nibelung, also known as the Ring Cycle (a cycle of four German-language epic operas) is being performed for the first time in Korea by the Nationaltheater Mannheim from Germany during the 19th Daegu International Opera Festival (DIOF) from October 16 to 23, 2022.
The 2022 DIOF kicked off on September 23 and will continue on with its 58-day journey until November 19th. . Throughout this year’s festival, works by world famous Italian composers, Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner, Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and more are being showcased under the theme of solidarity and diversity.
The opening opera was the epic “Turandot” by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. It was a collaborative piece by Daegu Opera House and Gwangju Symphony Orchestra.
The second work was by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Don Giovanni” and was performed on October 7 and 8. “Don Giovanni” was selected as one of the greatest operas by the New York Times due to its magnificent music and artistic features.
Italian composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi’s “La traviata” and more will also be showcased throughout the festival.
The closing opera has been selected to be the South Korean composer Isang Yun’s opera “Sim Tjong.” You may know that this work premiered at the opening of the 1972 Olympics in Munich. This will be performed on November 18 and 19.
The festival program that attracted considerable special attention before DIOF even opened was the Ring Cycle.
The monumental cycle, which is comprised of four of Wagner’s most celebrated music dramas: Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung,
is a very special opera production and will be performed by the Nationaltheater Mannheim from Germany. The 16 hours of music drama will be spread across two afternoons and two evenings on October 16th (Sun.), 17th (Mon.), 19th (Wed.) and 23th (Sun.)
In the past, there have been cases where only one of the Ring series works, such as The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie, were performed at a concert, but this is the first time in Korea that four works of the Ring of the Nibelung are presented as a whole.
It is also noteworthy that a total of 230 opera crew and staff were invited to participate in DIOF including the orchestra, choir, and lead singers of the Mannheim Theater in Germany. This is the latest production that was performed in July this year at the Mannheim National Theater, directed by Yona Kim, the stage director of the year in 2017 as selected by Opernwelt, a monthly German magazine for opera.
Mannheim joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2014 and Daegu joined in 2017. The cycle of four works of the Ring of the Nibelung at 19th DIOF is the result of ongoing international cooperation and exchange between Mannheim and Daegu as music cities of UNESCO. In the future, closer music-related exchanges and cooperation are also expected.
Finally, we would like to issue an early invitation to all of you to next year’s Daegu International Opera Festival, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the festival.