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Esa-Pekka Salonen to conduct his first Ring cycle in Helsinki

The Ring cycle, Richard Wagner’s opera tetralogy, will be staged in a new production at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki between 2019 and 2021. The production will be conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Anna Kelo. The cast will include Tommi Hakala as Wotan and Johanna Rusanen-Kartano as Brünnhilde. The rest of the production team and cast will be announced later.

The production will proceed with two operas per year. The first premiere will be Rheingold in autumn 2019, followed by Walküre in spring 2020, Siegfried in autumn 2020 and Götterdämmerung in spring 2021. The performances will be included in season tickets. The entire cycle will continue to be performed thereafter.

“The time is ripe for a completely Finnish production of the Ring,” says FNO Artistic Director Lilli Paasikivi. “The production team will be entirely Finnish. There is a wonderful generation of Wagner singers emerging in Finland, and our aim is to cast the production with Finnish singers as far as possible.”

“The Ring cycle is a tremendous effort for any opera house, both artistically and logistically. The FNO will put all of its expertise to work on this awe-inspiring story. I am particularly happy that Esa-Pekka Salonen will be conducting his first Ring cycle in Helsinki!”

The FNO staged its first complete Ring cycle in a four-year period beginning in 1996, and the production was revived in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2011, with eight performances of the entire cycle in all. The production, directed by Götz Friedrich, was later exported to Tokyo, where it was in the repertoire of the New National Theatre.