In anticipation of San Francisco Opera’s new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), the Company presents Notes from Valhalla, a behind-the-scenes blog about the rehearsals and performances of Wagner’s greatest work. During the next two months, there will be frequent postings from the cast and company members providing insight into the creative process; offering up details about staging and musical rehearsals; sharing production and performance notes; and highlighting informative thoughts about particular Ring characters—as well as some light-hearted commentary. From high atop Valhalla, the mythical home of the gods, this is a unique opportunity to have a window into the world of the preparation and presentation of SF Opera’s new RingHo-jo-to-ho!

Siegfried's Lens

Next month, tenor Ian Storey will make his role debut as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung. Throughout the lengthy rehearsal process, Ian has been snapping photos of his friends and colleagues. This gallery of photos, all taken by Ian Storey and his trusted pianist Adam Laslett, gives an insiders look at some of the behind-the-scenes rehearsals, activities and personalities that all come together to create The Ring of the Nibelung.
[Left: Ian Storey in character as Siegfried. Photo by Cory Weaver]


By Ian Storey (Siegfried) on Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Down, Three to Go

I have not posted myself for a while because I wanted people to get a sense from my colleagues of the many moving parts involved in putting the productions together. We are now deep into full-on technical and stage rehearsals. Two days ago we did the Piano Dress for Götterdämmerung—this means that all the elements are there in place except for the orchestra (A huge protagonist for Wagner).

[Left: Siegfried Final Dress Rehearsal: Fafner as a giant monster. Photo by Cory Weaver]




By Francesca Zambello (Director) on Friday, May 27, 2011

Sizzlin' Sitzprobe

When all the "i's" are dotted, all the "t's" are crossed, and the final page is turned; one may look back at the Siegfried sitzprobe of May 17 & 18, 2011 and correctly identify it as the tipping point where one could now actualize—not just envision—the success of the upcoming Ring cycle here in San Francisco. [Left: David Cangelosi as Mime in Siegfried. Photo by Cory Weaver.]

Because Siegfried is the first Ring installment to receive a stand-alone performance on May 29th (before we enter into presentation of 3 full cycles of all 4 operas), it will be the arbiter by which we measure the coming operatic wave for this 2011 special exposition series. 



By David Cangelosi (Mime) on Thursday, May 26, 2011

It Takes a Village...

Throughout the process of creating the Götterdämmerung production, the preamble to that oft used quote kept repeating in my head.  The obvious reason, of course, is the “village” of singers, designers, artisan, technical wizards, stagehands, wardrobe and the various support staff involved in the mounting of the Ring cycle.



By Christopher Verdosci (Assistant Costume Director) on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rediscovering the Ring

This is my umpteenth Ring cycle, and in many ways it is the most gratifying and exciting of the lot.
For one thing, we have many distinguished artists performing their roles for the first has to be by far the largest number of role debuts in any of the Ring cycles I’ve worked on in the past 21 years. Brünnhilde, Wotan, Siegfried (both of them!), Siegmund, Sieglinde, Erda…all are being undertaken by their respective artists for the first time.


By Eric Weimer (Rehearsal Conductor) on Monday, May 23, 2011

Displaying results 11-15 (of 30)
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Ring Withdrawal by David Gockley (General Director) July 12, 2011
Ring Symposia by San Francisco Opera Education Department July 7, 2011
Ring Cycle Cast Party by Photos by Kristen Loken June 22, 2011
Mission Control by Micah Standley (Media Team Score Reader) June 17, 2011
Ring Training by Laura Albers (Ring Cycle Concertmaster) June 14, 2011
Ring Statistics by San Francisco Opera June 10, 2011
Herding Cats by Linda Rodriguez (Senior Accountant and Supernumerary) June 8, 2011
A Journey Through the Fire by Paul Ziller (Production Super Captain and Graphic Designer) June 6, 2011
A Day in the Life of a Rehearsal Conductor by Sara Jobin (Assistant Conductor) June 2, 2011
Ring Cycle Artwork by Michael Schwab (Artist) May 31, 2011
Siegfried's Lens by Ian Storey (Siegfried) May 28, 2011
One Down, Three to Go by Francesca Zambello (Director) May 27, 2011
Sizzlin' Sitzprobe by David Cangelosi (Mime) May 26, 2011
It Takes a Village... by Christopher Verdosci (Assistant Costume Director) May 25, 2011
Rediscovering the Ring by Eric Weimer (Rehearsal Conductor) May 23, 2011
How I learned to stop worrying and love the Ring by Brian Jagde (Froh cover) May 20, 2011
Go Big by Going Small by Stacey Tappan (Woglinde & Forest Bird) May 18, 2011
"Props...That's My Job" by David Cangelosi ( Mime) May 16, 2011
Exiled by Elise Sandell (Assisant Director, Götterdämmerung) May 13, 2011
Let's Get Physical by Lawrence Pech (Choreographer) May 11, 2011
The Running Rhinemaiden by Lauren McNeese (Wellgunde and Rossweisse) May 9, 2011
Always a Bridesmaid...and Finally a Bride by Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried) May 6, 2011
Return to SF, in Boots by Daniel Sumegi (Fafner and Hunding) May 5, 2011
Character Inspiration by Francesca Zambello (Director) May 4, 2011
One Woman, Many Costumes by Daveda Karanas (Waltraute, Second Norn & Fricka cover) May 2, 2011
The Breakfast Nook by Francesca Zambello (Director) April 29, 2011
Ring of Fire by David Cangelosi (Mime) April 28, 2011
Week Three of Rehearsals by Francesca Zambello (Director) April 27, 2011
The Third Norn by Heidi Melton (Third Norn & Sieglinde) April 25, 2011
Rehearsals Have Begun by Francesca Zambello (Director) April 22, 2011