Die Walküre. photo by Karin Cooper

San Francisco Opera invites opera fans of all ages—men, women, children and pets alike—to celebrate this summer’s production of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre by dressing up as their favorite characters from the composer’s epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) on Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Wagner Ring Cycle Costume Contest gives each participant a lighthearted opportunity to shine as they walk the runway, announce their costume to the audience with the emcee and pose for photos. The esteemed panel of judges will include San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley; Co-Chair of San Francisco Opera Ring Circle Patron Program, Kristina Flanigan; Company Costume Shop Manager, Christopher Verdosci; and Vice President of Programs for the Northern California Wagner Society, Terri Stuart. Participants are encouraged to be imaginative when creating costumes representing the nearly limitless cast of characters ranging from Wotan, Brünnhilde and the Valkyries or Fasolt the giant, to the Volsung Sieglinde and her son Siegfried, or Fafner as the evil dragon and Alberich as a frog.

After the event, photos of each costume will be posted to San Francisco Opera’s Facebook page, sfopera, where members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winner of the “fan favorite” prize. Prizes include a grand prize package of one pair of orchestra premium tickets to this season’s production of Die Walküre ($500 value) and a $100 gift certificate to Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in Hayes Valley; additional prizes include San Francisco Opera apparel and merchandise and a Die Walküre production photo signed by the acclaimed cast of opera stars.

Perhaps the single most represented operatic work in popular culture, Wagner’s Ring cycle has appeared everywhere from the memorable music “The Ride of the Valkyries” in the film Apocalypse Now to Bugs Bunny’s rendition of “Kill the Wabbit” in the Looney Tunes cartoon What’s Opera Doc? Break out your Brünnhilde braids, polish your Tarnhelm or dust off your dragon wings and come help us celebrate one of opera’s best-loved works on June 13 by participating in the San Francisco Opera Ring Cycle Costume Contest!

San Francisco Opera presents Die Walküre beginning June 10 for six performances through June 30, as a part of the Company’s summer 2010 season. San Francisco Opera will present Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) in three complete cycles in June 2011 and is anticipated to attract opera patrons from around the world to attend this new Francesca Zambello production conducted by Donald Runnicles. Tickets for the current summer season and for next year’s Ring cycle are now on sale by calling 415-864-3330 or online at sfopera.

The event takes place on Sunday, June 13, 2010, at 11 a.m. in the courtyard immediately north of the War Memorial Opera House, prior to the Company’s matinee performance of Die Walküre at 1:00 p.m.