10. May 2019

Wagner's Die Walküre at Reykjavík Arts Festival 2020

In celebration of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s 70th anniversary, the Icelandic Opera’s 40th, and the Reykjavík Arts Festival’s 50th, the three will join hands in spring 2020 with a staging of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Walküre (The Valkyrie). Performances are scheduled for 27 and 29 May 2020 in Harpa’s Eldborg hall.

The orchestra is conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, who was appointed Chief Conductor of the Royal Danish Opera in 2016. The opera director, Julia Burbach, is on the permanent staff at London’s Covent Garden. Tal Rosner is a BAFTA-winning video designer and director who has worked at the National Theatre in London and Lincoln Center in New York.

Several world-renowned singers have been engaged for lead roles, including Christopher Ventris, who sings the role of Siegmund in a new production at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and reprises it here; Claire Rutter as Sieglinde; and Frode Olsen as Hunding. Ólafur Kjartan Sigurðarson will sing the role of Wotan for the first time in this production. Jamie Barton sings Fricka, and Christine Goerke sings Brünnhilde. Other Valkyries are sung by Icelanders.

This is the first full-length performance in Iceland of The Valkyrie and the first opera from the Ring of the Nibelung to be performed in the country in unabridged form. Thus the production represents a milestone in this history of opera performance in Iceland, and the planned staging has attracted much attention at home and abroad.

The first full-length Wagner opera staged in Iceland was The Flying Dutchman, performed in May 2002 in a collaborative effort of the Icelandic Opera, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Reykjavík Arts Festival, and the National Theatre. In 1994, an abridged version of the Ring cycle was performed at the Reykjavík Arts Festival in cooperation with the Iceland Symphony, the National Theatre, the Icelandic Opera, and the Bayreuth Festival.