Celebrate the Ring Festival with free events

The Melbourne Festival finished on the weekend, but it’s only two weeks until we can celebrate all that is grand and glorious about opera with the Melbourne Ring Festival opening on 15 November.

Ring Festival Bugs Bunny

For those with tickets to the four-opera cycle – which sold out in a blink – there’s nearly 21 hours (with intervals) of Wagner to look forward to as Opera Australia present Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelung – the Ring Cycle. Directed by Neil Armfield, the operas bring a cast of outstanding Wagnerian artists from around together with some of Australia’s most acclaimed creators and artists.

But for everyone else, it’s easy to find your own 21 hours of operatic-themed entertainment with an abundance of Ring Festival events from performances to backstage tours.

Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia says, “From serious symposiums, to Bugs Bunny and performances of operas which complement the Ring, to a great community choir concert and cabaret, the Melbourne Ring Festival embraces the spirit of this wonderful occasion and we welcome you to join us.”

What’s even more exciting is how many FREE events there are. (Full program here.)

Start on Saturday 16 November at 1 pm when Federation Square hosts the free Ride of the Valkeries concert.

Celebrating the arrival of the operas in Melbourne, brass bands and the Valkyries themselves perform Wagner’s best-known piece and other favourites.

On Saturday 23 November, it’s Mazda Opera in the Bowl.

Pack a picnic and lie under the stars at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia’s Community Choirs present some of opera’s most beautiful arias. This is a free event, but because it’s so popular, you still tickets. The next lot of tickets are released on 1 November and can be booked through ticketmaster.com.au.

And don’t miss ACMI’s daily screenings of Bugs Vs Wagner on the big screen in Federation Square. This collection of cartoons sees Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck tackle Wagner (and opera) in What’s Opera, Doc?, The Rabbit of Seville, Long Haired Hare and Bugs Bunny’s Overtures.

The Ring Festival
Opera Australia and City of Melbourne
15 November to 13 December

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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