This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Brünnhilde, a majestic Valkyrie, pulls her golden shield tight to her heart, and jabs her long spear at semi-god Siegmund. With his magic sword he slams her spear. Clashing metal, thunder, ecstatic love duets, bloodshed, pandemonium then stillness -- that’s all in a night at the opera at Union Avenue Opera.

(Courtesy Union Avenue Opera)

When one thinks of Wagner’s Ring cycle, what comes to mind is a huge cast, orchestra and set which can only be performed in the world’s largest opera houses.  But Union Avenue Opera has brought the Ring to St. Louis thanks to the reduction and adaptation by composer Jonathan Dove and stage director Graham Vick. The company will mount the second opera, Die Walkure, on August 16, 17, 23 and 24.