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A Behemoth Undertaking: Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Washington National Opera

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It's been a long time since I've posted here. That's certainly not the intention. I do enjoy blogging about opera, be it in D.C., elsewhere in the U.S., or abroad. That said, work has been quite consuming lately. For other purposes, I did just recently write a sort of "introductory guide" to the Ring Cycle, and thought it would make sense to post it here.
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Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen or, as it’s usually put in English, Ring Cycle, constitutes the most substantial undertaking in the operatic world. It is a “cycle” of four operas, Der Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung, with every opera except the first clocking in at over five hours in length. Usually, the same cast of stalwart singers performs across all four performances, singing over an orchestra of approximately 100 instruments. It’s been called one of the greatest triumphs of music and mocke…