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April 13, 2010

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Ride of the Valkyries into Expo

THE Valkyries will ride again in a four-day Expo performance of Wagner's complete four-opera masterpiece, "The Ring," at Shanghai Grand Theater.

The 15-hour, four-day saga of "The Ring of the Nigelung" will be staged by the Cologne Opera from September 16 to 24.

The monumental operas involving 400 performers and dramatic sets will be part of Germany's cultural showcase during the World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

Tickets are now available.

"We've got an international cast and we hope to have a wonderful time at the Expo," says Mark Stenz, music director of the Cologne Opera that visited Shanghai in 2008.

"It was then the idea was born that we should return to Shanghai with the quintessential German score, Wagner's 'Ring'," Stenz says.

Wagner drew on Teutonic and Norse mythology for his epic operas, written over 20 years from 1852-1874. J.R.R. Tokien drew from the same sources for his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and appears to borrow some elements, but the two works are not directly related.

The four epic operas are "Das Rheingold" ("The Rhine Gold"), "Die Walk?re" ("The Valkyrie"), "Siegfried" and "Gotterd°?mmerung" ("The Twilight of the Gods").

The plot revolves around a magic ring that enables the holder to rule the world, forged by the a dwarf from gold he stole from the Rhinemaidens in the river Rhine. Gods, heroes and mythical creatures struggle for possession of the ring, including Wotan, king of the gods. The battle spans generations, Siegriend, Wotan's son, wins the ring but is slain. The Valkyrie Brunnhilde, Siegfried's lover, eventually returns the ring to the Rhinemaidens, but the gods and their home, Valhalla, are

Telephone ticket booking is available at 6372-8702. Reservations for all four performances can be purchased at a 20-percent discount.


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