I Saw The World End: Exploring Wagner's Ring

Saturdays, March 6, 13, 20, 27 at 1pm PST on Zoom
On-demand recording available to ticket holders 24 hours after airing

With Dr. Clifford (“Kip”) Cranna, Dramaturg Emeritus, San Francisco Opera


Explore the myth, music, and majesty of Wagner’s unsurpassed four-opera masterpiece The Ring of the Nibelung with the Company’s Dramaturg Emeritus Dr. Clifford (“Kip”) Cranna


Each Saturday in March, Kip will guide you through one of the four operas starting with the first opera in the cycle Das Rheingold, followed by Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Attend all four talks or just one!





Guided by Kip, you’ll get a close look at this transformative operatic journey through a world unhinged by corruption and greed, where the one true power is the redeeming force of love. See how Wagner’s evocative signature tunes (“Leitmotifs”) create an ever-deepening texture of interwoven musical meaning. Video examples (with subtitles) will provide insight into these magnificent and mythic music dramas.



Who It’s For
Ring nuts and aspiring Wagnerians

Want to attend all four of Kip’s lectures?
Purchase a Festival Pass here  

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Saturday 03/06/21 1:00PM
Saturday 03/13/21 1:00PM
Saturday 03/20/21 1:00PM
Saturday 03/27/21 1:00PM


Saturday, March 6 at 1pm PST: Das Rheingold
Learn about Wagner’s 28-year quest to forge Teutonic legend into his towering statement about avarice, betrayal, and redemption. Then delve into the first opera of the cycle, Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) and discover how Wotan, head of the gods, allows lust for dominion to set in motion the inexorable forces of doom.

Saturday, March 13 at 1pm: Die Walküre
The heroine of the Ring, destined to become the self-sacrificing savior of mankind (but not the gods), is the warrior-maiden (Valkyrie) Brünnhilde, Wotan’s beloved daughter. The second opera of the cycle is her story.

Saturday, March 20 at 1pm: Siegfried
The great mythic hero who becomes the fascinating central figure of the third installment of the Ring, Siegfried, slays a dragon and wins for himself the fateful ring, then sets out on the path to claim his destined bride Brünnhilde.

Saturday, March 27 at 1pm: Götterdämmerung
We watch the world end and a new one begin, as The Ring comes to its overwhelming conclusion in Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods). The ring is returned to its riverbed home, cleansed of its curse, and the natural order is restored, with the promise of renewal and rebirth for mankind.

About Clifford (“Kip”) Cranna

Clifford (“Kip”) Cranna, Dramaturg Emeritus of San Francisco Opera, served on the staff for over forty years and was Director of Music Administration for over thirty years. He holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University. He lectures and writes frequently on music and teaches at the Fromm Institute at USF and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State, and Dominican University. He was Dramaturg for the Washington National Opera's production of Wagner's Ring at the Kennedy Center in 2016.


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