An anonymous donor has sponsored a number of tickets to the Melbourne Ring Cycle to encourage new audiences.

With just two weeks to go until the Melbourne Ring Cycle opens, Opera Australia has announced that an enthusiastic donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has subsidised a limited number of tickets. Normally, tickets to each of the four operas would cost $299. Thanks to the subsidy, they have been discounted to $149 and are available both for the four individual operas as well as the complete 16-hour cycle.

Stefan Vinke as Siegfried and the Rhinemaidens in Götterdämerung. Photo by Jeff Busby

“Our new favourite donor is keen for everyone to experience this incredible masterpiece, creating a fantastic opportunity for those who want to see what the fuss is all about,” says an OA press statement.

Tickets were quickly snapped up way ahead of the opening when the acclaimed production premiered in 2013. So this is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to see a Ring Cycle for the first time or for seasoned Ring-goers, affectionately known as Ring Nuts, to revisit the Melbourne Cycle.

Directed by Neil Armfield, the Melbourne Ring Cycle was hailed a great triumph when it premiered. As in 2013, the 2016 cycle of four operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämerung – will be performed three times between November 21 and December 16.

Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen will return to conduct the specially formed Melbourne Ring Orchestra, which is so large that Arts Centre Melbourne has had to remove seats to extend the pit. American soprano Lisa Lindstrom (seen in OA’s Turandot in 2015) will sing her first full Ring Cycle as Brünnhilde. American baritone James Johnson will play the pivotal double role of Wotan/The Wanderer, a role he has sung in productions including Robert Lepage’s controversial cycle for the Metropolitan Opera and Kasper Holten’s so-called “feminist” Cycle in Copenhagen. German tenor Stefan Vinke returns to Melbourne to reprise his acclaimed portrayal of Siegfried. Australian singers returning to the production include Daniel Sumegi as Fasolt/Hagen, Jacqueline Dark as Fricka and Warwick Fyfe as Alberich, while Bradley Daley makes his role debut as Siegmund.

Opera Australia has also announced a series of free and ticketed events, talks and concerts related to Wagner’s Ring, details of which can be found on their website.

The discounted Ring tickets can be booked using the promotion code RingSubsidy.