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Thousands buy tickets to epic Brisbane opera more than a year out

13 August 2019

Ring Cycle

A world-first operatic masterpiece being staged in Brisbane in late 2020 is already demonstrating its value to the state’s tourism economy.

Ticket sales data released today for Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, or ‘The Ring’, have shown that within two months of the event being announced for Brisbane, almost three-quarters of ticket packages have sold - worth more than $4.5 million.

Proving its international pull, about 75 per cent of package sales – more than 10,000 tickets - have come from outside of Queensland – to both interstate and international opera fans.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said ticket sales to date had been remarkable.

“We invest in major events that we know will support local jobs and generate revenue for local businesses,” she said.

“To have a Chinese director present this Opera for the first time is a major coup for Brisbane – and a massive selling point for thousands of Asian fans.

TEQ, in partnership with the Brisbane City Council via Brisbane Marketing, worked over a long period of time with Opera Australia to bring this epic masterpiece to Brisbane.

“Already these years of hard work are paying off for Queensland’s tourism industry,” Ms Jones said. 
Minister Jones said Opera fans from New Zealand, the USA and UK had led the charge in ticket sales.

“Our research shows that Ring Cycle fans – known as ‘Ring Nuts’ – are High Value Travellers who spend on average 11 nights in the host destination to experience this opera, providing plenty of opportunity for them to also explore the region’s unique tourism experiences, dine out and generate significant returns for the economy,” she said.

“We know that Queensland’s worldclass tourism experiences are also a factor in these travellers rushing to secure their tickets and spend on average more than a week enjoying spectacular opera and spectacular experiences.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch it was fantastic to see so many people wanting to experience an exciting and ambitious production when it is staged in Brisbane next year.

“The cutting-edge technology that will be on show in this world-first digital production of the Ring will highlight Brisbane’s world-class arts and cultural precinct with interstate and international visitors,” Ms Enoch said.

“This production is coming exclusively to Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and is a pinnacle of opera that will be a 15-hour epic performed over four nights.

“It’s not surprising so many people are jumping at the chance to come to Brisbane to see this production.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said each ticket sold to an interstate and international fan was an opportunity to showcase Brisbane as a destination with plenty to see and do.

“While fans are here enjoying the Ring Cycle they will package their experience, choosing from Brisbane’s hotels, vibrant dining and drinking venues, and cultural and adventure activities,” Cr Schrinner said.

“The 10,000 tickets from interstate and international fans represent a new audience for Brisbane and a chance to wow them with all our city has to offer while boosting our economy at the same time.”

Opera Australia CEO Rory Jeffes said the positive response to ticket sales this far out from the event has more than justified the decision to stage the Ring in Brisbane.

“This is a great indication that the Ring Cycle Brisbane 2020 will be a big success for all the stakeholders, in particular for Queensland’s arts and cultural communities, not to mention the knock-on effect from tourists visiting destinations throughout the state,” Mr Jeffes said.

Known as the Everest of Opera, Brisbane’s ‘Ring Cycle’ will be directed by Mr Shi-Zheng Chen, the first Chinese Director to take on The Ring, bringing his renowned use of theatre technology to produce the first-ever Ring featuring suspended, moveable LED screens and ground-breaking digital technology.

The opera, staged over four days, will play out over a total of four weeks in November/December 2020. 

The event was secured by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, in partnership with Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Marketing.