They'd make money on the Ring Cycle if they'd present it as LOTR. They could keep the same German. Nobody would know the difference. Just substitute LOTR for the book. It's practically the same thing anyways.
@1 don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, but there is absolutely no comparison whatsoever. I doubt there's any work of art of any kind produced anywhere in any culture that can compare with the Ring cycle. Richard Wagner was a horribly amoral excuse for a man, who can only be forgiven for his monstrous ego and self-regard because he was absolutely right about his artistry.

Attending a Ring cycle in Seattle is fairly high on my list of things I really want to do if I ever have the money. Few organizations have the institutional experience to do it well. Perhaps only the Metropolitan Opera can compare on this side of the Atlantic (and yes, I have had the great privilege of seeing the entire cycle performed at Bayreuth).
Opera is great. But it doesn't have the attraction it once had with young and monied. They would benefit by doing more relevant and modern productions.
Let me raise a modest minority voice against Wagner and the infintely boring Ring Cycle. The Ring's mythology has become the Golden Calf of Seattle's civic religion, a bloated false god, a phony icon.
Maybe if they'd do something that WASN'T either The Ring or Italian AND made after 1900. This year we have exactly one opera that fits that bill, and its a one-act that has to get teamed up with Puccini: La Voix Humaine. Last year was Porgy and Bess (an old tired opera), then a gap and then Amelia (terrible, but at least new).

We barely even get Strauss!

And the stagings need to be more risky. Like the year we got Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung. That was the best thing I've seen Seattle Opera do, and it was imported from Canada. We need more imagination like that.
Amelia didn't have great music but it was stunning visually.
The claim that they've operated without a deficit for 18 out of the past 19 seasons would be more impressive if it wasn't widely known in the arts community that the way they achieved it was to get donors to fill the gap at the end of every year. So the real news would seem to be that the major donors and/or the board (there's obviously an overlap) have finally wised up after a season of sets by Ikea and next season's Puccinipalooza. Four jobs gone isn't going to do it though -- the opera is ridiculously overstaffed given how few performances they do now, much less for the proposed season of three operas.
@6 Agreed. I loved the visuals of Amelia. I just wish it was in service of, you know, something not terrible.

It was kind of a Showgirls-esque amalgamation of ridiculously terrible opera that people cared deeply about and made it look as genius as possible.

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