Cologne Opera House, "Ring of the Nibelung", Germany, 2010
Der Ring des Niebelungen
Tour Dates
  • Shanghai Grand Theatre, 2 cycles of 4 nights
  • 16 Sep - 19 Sep, 2010
  • 21 Sep - 24 Sep, 2010

Tour Dates: 16 - 19 Sep & 21 - 24 Sep, 2010

“...all charged with such intensity and delicacy in terms of the stage direction and with ingenious lighting...”
- Handelsblatt


Cologne Opera House
The Gürzenich Orchestra Köln
Markus Stenz
Robert Carsen

In 1874, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) was completed by Richard Wagner, the leading German dramatic composer and theorist, whose operas and music had a revolutionary influence on Western music.

The plot was set in motion by Alberich, the Nibelung dwarf. In the name of love, he forged the ring from the river Rhine and brings out the perpetual theme of power and love as followed by the struggles of mythical figures, including the chief of Gods, Wotan. Wotan's scheme, spanning generations, to overcome his limitations, drives much of the action in the story. The hero Siegfried wins the Ring, as Wotan intended, but is eventually betrayed and slain. Finally, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Siegfried's lover and Wotan's estranged daughter, returns the ring to the Rhine and in the process, the Gods are destroyed.

The intensive Report about Cologne Opera House's China Tour on

The opulent music drama consists of 4 parts, Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods).  The cycle is a work of an extraordinary scale, in addition to the length of the production; the orchestra was also of a gargantuan proportion. Wagner eventually designed a purpose-built theatre, the “Bayreuther Festspielhaus”, where the first performance of the completed Ring cycle took place on 13 August, 1876.

Wagner has injected elements from many German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales but also with many contemporary concepts.  His ingenious work has provoked many praises and criticisms, extolled and condemned but the production is ultimately recognised as a triumph, an outstanding piece of Wagner’s career. The combination of the vividly drawn mythical characters and the thick and richly textured music, Der Ring des Nibelungen is a timeless classic piece, full of life and action with superb climaxes.

Opera House

It is not only because the Cologne Opera House is situated near the Rhine River for it to be the most suitable venue for the production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, in which this river plays a major role, Cologne Opera itself also enjoys an outstanding reputation for its performances of a high artistic standard.

Its previous home destroyed in the Second World War, in 1957 Cologne Opera found new quarters in a structure created by architect Wilhelm Riphahn. The edifice is a splendid example of the architecture of the 1950s.

In the three coming years, the Opera House will undergo extensive renovations.  During this time, audiences in Cologne will still be able to continue to enjoy operatic works.  Also in this transitional period, Cologne Opera will stage its performances at alternative venues within the Cologne city limits.  Guest performances in other countries and cities are planned as well.


The Gürzenich Orchestra Köln

The orchestra was named after Cologne’s historical Gürzenich ballroom, where the orchestra began to perform in 1857.  Countless major orchestral works were written for and premiered by the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln, including Brahms’ Double Concerto, Mahlers’ 5th Symphony and Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel.

Since 1986 the ensemble resides in Cologne Philharmonie where they have performed around 50 concerts every year.  In 2004, Markus Stenz assumed the position of Chief Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln and was named General Music Director of the State of Cologne in 2005.


Markus Stenz

Markus Stenz is the General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra.

Studied at the School of Music in Cologne under Volker Wangenhein and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa, Markus Stenz has held the positions of Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989 – 1995), Principal Conductor of the London Sinfonietta (1994 – 1998) – one of the most renowned ensembles for contemporary music.

As Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998 – 2004) Markus Stenz broadened his repertoire and established his career as an international conductor. Markus Stenz conducts many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestras of the Bayerische Rundfunk, the HR, the WDR and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Since his debut as an opera conductor at La Fenice in Venice in a production of Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers he has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and international festivals including La Scala in Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Edinburgh International Festival and Salzburg Festival.

His notable performances in Cologne have included Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser as well as Janacek’s Jenufa and Katya Kabanova. In 2009 Markus Stenz made his highly successful debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera in a production of Katya Kabanova featuring Karita Mattila.


Robert Carsen

In the course of Robert Carsen’s international career, he has been rewarded with many critics’ prizes and awards.  He has worked with New York Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan, the Opéra Paris and the Vienna State Opera, as well as the opera houses in Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Antwerp and Houston, and also at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence. This list of remarkable experiences in all the major opera houses in the world, in collaboration with stage and costume designer Patrick Kinmonth, the performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Cologne Opera House has already brought a sensational experience to the audiences.



“The Valkyries and in particular Siegfried are among the best currently on offer to the international Wagner community...”
- Frankfurter Rundschau

“And all charged with such intensity and delicacy in terms of the stage direction and with ingenious lighting, so that there is not an instant of boredom...”
- Handelsblatt

“A family saga on a global scale...”

“A brilliant piece full of black-as-night realism and tongue-in-cheek entertainment...”
- Der Spiegel

For further information please contact:

Ms. Qian Hoehne
Project Coordinator
Wu Promotion Co., Ltd

Tel: +86 10 5165 0798 ext. 32
Fax: +86 10 8441 7135
Mob: +86 139 1141 7135
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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