Finnish National Opera to stage Ring Cycle

Anna Kelo will direct a production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Finnish National Opera (FNO). The orchestra will be conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The new staging will run over three years from 2019 to 2021. Rheingold is scheduled for autumn 2019, followed by Die Walküre in spring 2020, Siegfried in autumn 2020 and concluding with Götterdämmerung in spring 2021. The four pieces will then be performed together, although a date for this has yet to be announced.

Kelo has previously two productions for FNO: Aarre Merikanto’s Juha in 2011 and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in 2014. She has also worked on the Ring Cycle before, supervising the stage direction of Götz Friedrich’s  production.

“With an enormous work like this you have the possibility – almost the obligation – to go beyond the normal director’s job of creating visions, situations and relationships on stage in order to deliver the message,” said Kelo in an interview for IAM.

“First I’ll deal with the big picture, handling the Ring Cycle as one mesmerising tale of power, love, revenge and – in the end – enlightenment. Then I’ll move on to separating the four different operas into their own fascinating pieces with different styles and genres.”

“Anna has a clear and powerful vision of the Ring tetralogy, which beautifully marries the themes with drama, music and cast direction,” remarked FNO artistic director Lilli Paasikivi. “Having worked for several years on the epic, she has a deep knowledge of it – we are delighted to have her directing the new productions.”

The creative team is completed by set and lighting designer Mikki Kunttu, costume designer Erika Turunen and assistant conductor Klaus Mäkelä. The cast includes Tommi Hakala as Wotan and Johanna Rusanen-Kartano as Brünnhilde.