The new Finnish productions of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs) will be staged at National Opera from 2019 to 2021. Anna Kelo has been selected to direct the epic sequence, which will be conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Anna Kelo has previously directed two productions for the Finnish National Opera: Aarre Merikanto’s Juha in 2011 and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, which premiered in 2014. In 2016–2017 Kelo supervised the stage direction of Götz Friedrich’s Ring tetralogy for the New National Theatre in Tokyo. She has also co-directed Olli Kortekangas’s opera Isän tyttö (Daddy’s Girl) for the Savonlinna Opera Festival with Michael Baran and directed the opera Elämälle (To Life) about composer Oskar Merikanto for the Ilmajoki Music Festival. At the Finnish National Opera, Kelo has worked first as an Assistant Director since 1994 and as the Chief Assistant Director since 1998. Kelo graduated as a Musical Theatre Director from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in 1992.
”Anna has a clear and powerful vision of the Ring tetralogy, which beautifully marries the themes with drama, music and cast direction. 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,” says Lilli Paasikivi, the Artistic Director of the Finnish National Opera. The Ring will be conducted by the FNO’s Artist in Association Esa-Pekka Salonen. ”I am glad I was chosen and the co-operation has begun smoothly,” Salonen says.
Young Finnish conductor talent Klaus Mäkelä has been appointed to assist Salonen. Mäkelä debuted at the National Opera in 2013 as the conductor of the concert version of Erkki Melartin’s Aino opera. Besides Kelo, the creative team behind Ring will include Mikki Kunttu, responsible for visual design from lighting to video and set design, as well as Costume Designer Erika Turunen. Tommi Hakala will be seen as Wotan and Johanna Rusanen-Kartano as Brünnhilde. Other soloists will be announced later.
Two operas of the Ring cycle will be produced each year. The first premiere, Das Rheingold, is scheduled for autumn 2019. It will be followed by Die Walküre in spring 2020, Siegfried in autumn 2020 and Götterdämmerung in spring 2021. The tetralogy will also be performed in its entirety at a later stage.