November 3, 2008

Placido Domingo and LA Opera Announce Ring Festival LA Celebrating the Arts LA Style

More than a century ago, composer Richard Wagner conceived his epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen as a festival event that completely engaged the city of Bayreuth, Germany. In 2010, LA Opera will join forces with more than 50 cultural and educational institutions in Los Angeles to stage Ring Festival LA. "Ring Festival LA will be a defining moment in the cultural history of Los Angeles," said Placido Domingo, LA Opera's Eli and Edythe Broad General Director. "The presence of so many of LA's cultural, educational and civic leaders clearly demonstrates that the city's creative forces can be brought together through a cultural festival -- in this case, a festival based on LA Opera's production of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle." Joining him in making this announcement were LA County Board Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, business leader and philanthropist Eli Broad, LA Opera Chairman and CEO Marc I. Stern, LA Opera Board President Carol Henry, LA Opera Music Director James Conlon and LA Opera Board member Barry A. Sanders, who is leading the Festival.

Southern Californians and cultural tourists from around the world will be able to enjoy a wide variety of special exhibitions, performances, symposia and special events all centered on LA Opera's upcoming presentation of Wagner's Ring cycle in 2010, the first time that the epic masterwork will be presented in its entirety in Los Angeles. Ring Festival LA events will take place in a wide variety of venues throughout Southern California from April 15 through June 30, 2010, with each organization providing its own unique point of view on the influences of Wagner's art and philosophy from the 19th century to the present day.

Conversations regarding Ring Festival LA began earlier this year in a roundtable discussion with Placido Domingo; Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Michael Ritchie, artistic director of Center Theatre Group; and James N. Wood, president of the Getty Trust. "We all recognized that one of the greatest strengths of the city's cultural institutions is our distinctively 'Angeleno' identity," said Mr. Domingo, "and we all liked the idea of a city-wide festival that would celebrate this identity through all of our world-class cultural organizations. I suggested a festival timed to coincide with LA Opera's presentation of the Ring cycle in the summer of 2010. Ring Festival LA will demonstrate this unique identity to our community and also to the many visitors from across the country and around the world who will be attracted here by our Wagner productions. LA Opera's production of the Ring cycle, a mammoth undertaking, will in a sense be the Company's coming-of-age celebration. But we also wanted it to become a defining moment in the cultural history of Los Angeles. Ring Festival LA will be the first of its kind, for, as far as we know, no other opera company that has presented the Ring has involved all of the major cultural institutions of a great city in a ten-week festival."

"We can all be proud that so many diverse organizations are joining together in this incredible effort," said Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. "Ring Festival LA will highlight the wealth of arts and culture that is unique to our town. The festival puts Los Angeles at the forefront of our major international cultural destinations, drawing together visitors from around the world and residents from neighborhoods across our county. It's truly a celebration for all of us."

"Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Artists from every field come to our city to work and enjoy our thriving arts community, making an economic and creative contribution unmatched in the world."

"Los Angeles is one of the world's great cultural centers," said Eli Broad, the Los Angeles business leader and philanthropist whose $6 million gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation made LA Opera's new production of the Ring cycle possible. "Ring Festival LA will bring worldwide attention to our city and attract an increasing number of visitors."

"The idea of having a festival where the whole city participates is very Wagnerian," said James Conlon, Music Director of LA Opera. "This takes on proportions that fit with the extraordinary personality of Richard Wagner, for whom nothing was too large. I would like to join Placido in thanking our colleagues in all of the organizations that are taking part, without whom there would be no way that we could realize this dream."

Organizations currently scheduled to participate in Ring Festival LA include:

 Music Center, Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County Center Theatre Group Los Angeles Master Chorale Los Angeles Opera Los Angeles Philharmonic  -- The Academy of Motion Picture    -- The Latino Museum Arts and Sciences -- Ace Gallery                      -- Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra -- American Cinematheque            -- Los Angeles Conservancy -- American Jewish University       -- Los Angeles County Museum of Art -- Bergamot Station: Ruth Bachofner -- LA Film Festival Gallery -- Billy Wilder Theater at the      -- Los Angeles Magazine Hammer Museum -- California Art Club              -- Los Angeles Public Library / Library Foundation of Los Angeles -- California Institute of the Arts -- LA Trade Technical College -- c3: Center for Conscious         -- LA Unified School District / Creativity                          Arts Education Branch -- Cinespia                         -- Mount St. Mary's College -- Classical KUSC FM 91.5           -- Museum of Contemporary Art -- The Colburn School               -- Norton Simon Museum -- Descanso Gardens                 -- OPERA America -- Eli and Edythe Broad Stage       -- The Opera League of Los Angeles -- Geffen Playhouse                 -- Operetta Foundation -- Gelson's                         -- Patina Restaurant Association -- German Consulate General - Los   -- Santa Monica Museum of Art Angeles -- The Getty Center                 -- Southern California Wagner Society -- Goethe-Institut Los Angeles      -- Sundance Institute -- Grand Performances               -- University of California Los Angeles -- Griffith Observatory             -- University of Southern California -- Hispanics for LA Opera           -- USC Brain and Creativity Institute -- The Huntington Library, Art      -- USC Thornton School of Music Collections, and Botanical Gardens -- Istituto Italiano di Cultura     -- Urban Educational Partnership -- KCET Television                  -- The Verdi Chorus -- LA Inc.                          -- Villa Aurora 

A complete calendar of festival events will be announced in January 2010.

"I am delighted that so many of the leading cultural and educational institutions in and around Los Angeles have eagerly embraced the idea of participating in Ring Festival LA," said Marc I. Stern, Chairman and CEO of LA Opera. "It is an astonishingly cooperative effort and LA Opera is proud to work with Placido Domingo to help orchestrate it."

"Ring Festival LA is new and different," said Barry A. Sanders, LA Opera Board member who is leading the Festival. "We are creating the first festival in the history of Los Angeles to engage and showcase the broad spectrum of our city's cultural, educational and artistic institutions. We are all working on the same project and tearing down the walls that normally separate us. We are taking opera off the hill to all the people of Los Angeles."

Tickets for LA Opera's Ring cycle can be purchased online at or by calling (213) 972-8001. For disability access, call (213) 972-0777 or e-mail [email protected] Special LA Opera Ring travel packages and hotel/travel arrangements are available through New World Travel. For more information, contact New World Travel at (310) 568-9393 or

Los Angeles Opera's production of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle is made possible by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation with additional generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and LA Opera's Friends of the Ring Leadership Council. Rolex is the Official Timepiece of LA Opera and Silversea is the Official Cruise Line of LA Opera.