A scene from "Das Rheingold," the first opera in Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung" cycle. ©Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

All Aboard for the Return of the Ring (Cycle)

As Cultural Currents readers know the last time the  San Francisco Opera staged the Three Cycles of the Ring was seven years ago.

But the Bay Area’s infatuation with the Richard Wagner’s masterpiece dates back to 1900 when the touring Metropolitan Opera produced the four-part work at San Francisco’s Grand Opera House on Mission Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets; destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire). Since San Francisco Opera’s first staging of the torturous tetralogy in 1935 and subsequent mountings in 1972, 1985, 1990, 1999. And since the 2011, SFO has been regarded as one of the world’s leading presenters of this timeless epic.

Ferry riders have a special reason to appreciate the symbolism contained in this timeless work.

As the curtain lifts for the first act of of Das Rheingold we see the bottom of the Rhine River, which inexorably winds through the drama. The next reference to water is in the last act Gotterdammerung, where the composer referenced a waterborne crossing for causing Hagen – Alberich’s wicked son – to suffer a miserable drowning.

Beginning Tuesday, May 1 at 10 a.m., tickets to individual performances within Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), will be available for purchase. Previously offered only as complete cycle packages, tickets for Das RheingoldDie WalküreSiegfried and Götterdämmerung will go on sale for the first time.

Seats for all 12 performances in three full cycles of Wagner’s Ring presented by San Francisco Opera from June 12–July 1 may be purchased individually and in build-your-own cycles. Availability of tickets vary by section, date of performance and price with seats beginning at $100. 200 standing room tickets will be offered at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; standing room tickets are $10 each, cash only, and limited to two tickets per person. Tickets to the Ring may be purchased online at sfopera.com/ring, by visiting the San Francisco Opera box office at 301 Van Ness Avenue and calling (415) 864-3330. Ticket pricing, except for standing room, subject to change.