MCANA Reports: San Francisco Opera’s Ring Cycle

The Ring in San Francisco
(courtesy SFO)
By MCANA Critics

During June and July 2011, the San Francisco Opera presented three performances of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, starting June 14. The Music Critics Association of North America is pleased to offer comprehensive coverage of this milestone production, including articles expanding upon the work and its composer. This special edition of the MCANA’s Web Journal is the first in what the organization hopes will be an ongoing project to bring together the best critical thought by its members for readers throughout North America and beyond. Your support of this undertaking is encouraged. Thank you.

Donald Rosenberg, President


Table of Contents:

Cosima Wagner Reconsidered, by John W. Barker

Band of Gypsies! – Bass-baritone Mark Delavan Tells How a Family that Travels Together Stays Togethe,r by James Bash

Sex and Branding: Wagner’s Other Leitmotifs, by Wes Blomster

A (Mildly) Feminist Look at Wagner’s Ring, by Susan Brodie

Ring Tunes Keep You Awake, or Three Reasons You Should Bite the Bullet and Take a Closer Look at Wagner’s Ring-Cycle Leitmotifs, by Jeff Dunn

Wagner, Jazz and Pop: An Alliance of Limited Success, by Richard S. Ginell

Be Prepared: The Byword for Fire-Fighters, Boy Scouts – and Opera Singers, by Paul Hertelendy

In San Francisco, Strong Women Step to the Fore, by John W. Lambert

Rhine Gold Lurks in old Grooves, Even if No One Is Listening, by John W. Lambert

Tradition, Enemy of Truth: Wagnerianism and Francesca Zambello’s Ring, by Jens F. Laurson

All Wrung Out in San Francisco, by Robert Markow

Das Rheingold and the Hippies, by John Rockwell


In addition to reviews contained in this Journal, MCANA members produced the following articles for various regional publications, links to which are provided here with the authors’ consent. All but one (marked) are freely accessible. Again we thank you for your interest in and support of our work.


James Bash, Oregon Music News:
* Rheingold:
* Walküre:
* Siegfried
* Götterdämmerung:

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News gripping-ring-in-san-francisco.ece (a for-pay column)

Paul Horsley, The Independent (Kansas City):

Arthur Kapitanis, Montreal Gazette:

Nancy Malitz, NAJP Blog:

Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer:


Sebastian Spreng, Miami Clásica:


Finally, for more on this topic by MCANA members, see the following Classical Voice America blogs, containing – along with other materials – further musings on the Ring:

Susan Brodie:

Jeff Dunn:

Earl Love:


Rebecca Schmid:


Happy reading!