An operatic saga of water-nymphs, giants and dwarves won’t be on a Fort Worth stage in 2018.
Fort Worth Opera officials have announced that Richard Wagner’s “Das Rheingold,” a massive production scheduled for the 2018 season, is canceled because of high production costs.
Initially, “Das Rheingold” was scheduled for spring 2018.
Opera officials said in a news release that they looked at every option to present Wagner’s epic saga, but cancelled it to preserve the company’s financial integrity.
“The decision to remove ‘Das Rheingold’ from the 2018 Festival was difficult, but the Board of Trustees, Maestro Illick and I have listened to our donors and community regarding fiscal accountability and prudence,” said Fort Worth Opera’s general director Tuomas Hiltunen in a news release. Joe Illick is the Opera’s artistic director.
After cancelling “Das Rheingold,” for 2018, the Opera announced it is adding “Brief Encounters,” a trio of 15-minute operas about marriage, life and love written by Mark Adamo, Jake Heggie and Illick.
Hiltunen said the “Das Rheingold” decision was made as “we rebuild the company into a vital cultural force that is sustainable here in North Texas.”
At the beginning of summer, Fort Worth opera officials had a $1 million summer-long funding campaign.
Opera officials declined to release information on the estimated costs for “Das Rheingold.” “This is proprietary information,” said a statement released by Fort Worth Opera officials on Wednesday.
Officials also declined to comment on ticket sales in 2017 and for the 2018 season, which will be the 72nd.
Refunds are available in light of the cancellation, opera officials said.
“We are truly grateful that the vast majority of our patrons continue to be supportive of opera in Fort Worth,” Hiltunen said in an email.
The 2018 season still includes Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” and the tango opera, “Maria de Buenos Aires.” The 2018 season also will includes “Frontiers,” which showcases excerpts from new operas.
The Opera has gone through some major changes this year. General director Darren K. Woods was fired in February and the board of trustees named Hiltunen, who started on Aug. 1, as general director. He is a New York City-based administrator, educator, actor and opera performer.
At the same time Hiltunen was selected, the board of trustees also named Illick as the company’s artistic director. He had been the company’s music director since 2002.
During the summer, international star tenor and conductor Placido Domingo was named to head the new Fort Worth Opera National Artistic Council.
For information about 2018 tickets or refunds, call the Fort Worth Opera box office at 817-731-0726 or toll free at 877-396-7372. Residents also can email at email@example.com