Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Age reports that Maureen Wheeler, co-founder with husband Tony of Lonely Travel publishing of which 75% was recently sold for a reported $250M, is prepared to toss $12 million towards Melbourne mounting a Ring Cycle as early as 2012.

Peter Bassett is apparently engaged in some feasibility studies and reserving comments till next year. He was heavily involved in the very successful 2004 Adelaide Ring. It was of the highest musical standards with Asher Fisch leading the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and a phenomenal coup de theatre after coup de theatre masterwork, thanks to Elke Neidhardt who assembled a world beating antipodean production team and world class cast led by the (then at least) in top form Lisa Gasteen.

If you think I’ve resorted to hyperbole (again), it’s because the memory still stirs emotions. Perhaps Bruce Martin would not approve, but the full three cycles were recorded, rehearsals and all, by the resourceful Melba Records, mixed and patched, and the result is now the first released Ring in SACD.

While it is reported as early days in the planning, good on you Melbourne. Oh that we had that level of artistic aspiration coupled with a matching benevolence here in Emerald City. What’s $12 million – half a house in Point Piper. There’s money in Sydney but you have to wonder if it is all in the wrong pockets. What Melbourne may be lacking however, the report suggests, is the right venue. Well here's where we can help. We have the perfect place, although even it may struggle with the complexities of the fire and water show Elke and the team (the Sydney Olympic Torch Lighting team, if you didn’t know) gave us.

Nonetheless, Melbourne, as I’ve already suggested, I think the best place to stage your Ring Cycle is right here in Sydney.

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