March 06, 2019

Das Rheingold launches director David Pountney’s brilliantly imaginative new Ring cycle

On August 1, Lyric’s summer technical rehearsals kicked off with Das Rheingold. This four-day period allowed for the show’s creative team to collaborate with Lyric’s technical staff on the look and logistics of the new production. Each day focused on a different scene from the show to work through choreography, lighting, and stage mechanics. Continue below to get a peek at the rehearsal and what’s to come beginning October 1. Meanwhile, the creative team at The Second City joins forces with Lyric to take a fresh look at Wagner and his epic Ring.

See below for The Second City Guide to Wagner!

Lighting is tested and adjusted while lightwalkers stand in front of a Rheingold backdrop.


David Pountney, actors, and stagehands discuss staging.


Technical rehearsals for Das Rheingold on Lyric's stage.


Director David Pountney takes a look at the functionality of one of the set pieces.


As Lyric prepares to launch its all new production of the Ring cycle — the mind-blowing four-opera saga created by Richard Wagner — with the first, Das Rheingold, starting off the 2016/17 season in just a month's time, there's another new production also in the pipeline along slightly less monumental lines. Introducing Longer! Louder! Wagner!, the newest collaboration between Lyric and The Second City.  

Lyric Opera, through its Lyric Unlimited division, and The Second City join forces once again to take on everyone’s favorite four-day fifteen-hour opera. Longer! Louder! Wagner! brings us to 1848 Germany, where Wagner first began work on the Ring, to modern-day Bayreuth, home of Wagner’s personally-designed opera house. Longer! Louder! Wagner! hilariously illustrates the lasting effects of his masterpiece and the headaches an opera company might encounter trying to mount this behemoth. Note: Show may contain inaccurate German accents.

Longer! Louder! Wagner! is written by Timothy Sniffen and directed by Anneliese Toft. Sniffen co-wrote The Second City Guide to the Opera, the first collaboration between Lyric and The Second City during Lyric’s 2012/13 season, and also wrote Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody, which enjoyed an extended run to great acclaim at Writers Theatre this summer. Jesse Case returns as music director following the success of The Second City Guide to the Opera. The cast includes six actors from The Second City and two classically trained singers.

Longer! Louder! Wagner! opens on Thursday, October 27 at 7pm with six performances through October 30. Shows will take place backstage in Lyric’s William Mason Rehearsal Hall, the very same space where Lyric will stage and rehearse Wagner's Das Rheingold, prior to its move to the main stage.  The space will be transformed into an intimate, comedy club-like venue, giving ticket holders a unique opportunity to enjoy the show within the backstage area rarely seen by the public. Running time is approximately 80 minutes, without intermission. Ticket prices are $35, $45 and $65, and food and beverage service will be available.  

Das Rheingold runs for only six performances, October 1–22 — book your tickets today!

To learn more and book tickets to Lyric and The Second City's Louder! Longer! Wagner!, running in a limited engagement October 22–30, click here.

Generous support provided by

New Lyric Opera production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold generously made possible by

Marlys A. Beider

Liz Stiffel

Helen and Sam Zell

Photos:  Michael Brosilow, Andrew Cioffi