The San Francisco Ring

Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen returns to San Francisco in 2018! If you missed this production when it was first performed there as a complete cycle in 2011, or its Washington National Opera revival in 2016, then this one, back in San Francisco, is definitely not to be missed.

Donald Runnicles, one of the world’s most respected Wagner conductors, will conduct the renowned San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus and a superb cast including Greer Grimsley as Wotan, Evelyn Herlitzius as Brünnhilde, Daniel Brenna as Siegfried and Falk Struckmann as Alberich.

In addition to The Ring, take time out to enjoy the delights of this vibrant bayside city, with its clanging cable cars, splendid street panoramas, superb dining and quirky microclimate. And to top off the experience, venture into the stunning Monterey Peninsula.

Arrive in San Francisco check in to your hotel. In the early evening, join tour leader Peter Bassett for a welcome briefing and introduction to the San Francisco Ring followed by a welcome cocktail buffet reception.


After breakfast, depart the hotel and transfer to the de Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park. Rebuilt and re-opened in 2005, the de Young Museum showcases American art from the 17th to the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, as well as art from the Americas, the Pacific and Africa.

After a guided visit of the collection and some free time to browse, continue on to lunch at the world-famous Sutro’s restaurant at Cliff House, spectacularly located overlooking Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Return to the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

This evening’s performance of Das Rheingold starts at 7.30pm.

Cast – Das Rheingold
Wotan – Greer Grimsley
Loge – Stefan Margita
Alberich – Falk Struckmann
Fricka – Jamie Barton
Erda – Ronnita Miller
Mime – David Cangelosi
Fasolt – Andrea Silvestrelli
Fafner – Raymond Aceto
Woglinde – Stacey Tappan
Wellgunde – Lauren McNeese
Flosshilde – Renée Tatum
Froh – Brandon Jovanovich
Donner – Brian Mulligan


After breakfast, join Peter for a pre-performance talk followed by a visit to the San Francisco Opera House for a backstage tour and a special viewing of the archival photo galleries depicting the Company’s history since its first season in 1923. Return by coach to the hotel to arrive back at approximately 2.00 PM. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

This evening’s performance of Die Walküre starts at 7pm.

Cast – Die Walküre
Brünnhilde – Evelyn Herlitzius
Wotan – Greer Grimsley
Sieglinde – Karita Mattila
Siegmund – Brandon Jovanovich
Fricka – Jamie Barton
Hunding – Raymond Aceto


Activities for this day are to be advised due to a possible San Francisco Opera Ring ancillary event (this is optional and not included in tour price; details TBA).

This evening is at leisure.


After breakfast, join Peter for a pre-performance talk on both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung followed by the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy more delights of San Francisco.

This evening’s performance of Siegfried begins at 6.30pm.

Cast – Siegfried
Siegfried – Daniel Brenna
Brünnhilde – Evelyn Herlitzius
Mime – David Cangelosi
The Wanderer – Greer Grimsley
Alberich – Falk Struckmann
Fafner – Raymond Aceto
Erda – Ronnita Miller
Forest Bird – Stacey Tappan


After breakfast, set out on a full-day tour to the Monterey Peninsula. Drive down scenic Highway 1, enjoying the spectacular coast views, to Monterey and enjoy lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Next, travel along 17-Mile Drive, past Pebble Beach Golf Club, to Carmel-by-the-Sea where there will be time to explore or shop before returning to the hotel in the early evening.

The remainder of the evening is at leisure.


Enjoy a leisurely morning. This afternoon’s performance of Götterdämmerung commences at 1pm.

Cast – Götterdämmerung
Brünnhilde – Evelyn Herlitzius
Siegfried – Daniel Brenna
Gunther – Brian Mulligan
Hagen – Andrea Silvestrelli
Waltraute – Jamie Barton
Gutrune – Melissa Citro
Alberich – Falk Struckmann
Woglinde – Stacey Tappan
Wellgund – Lauren McNeese
Flosshilde – Renée Tatum


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Please note: if you would like the day use of your room, there is an extra charge. Please inform us well in advance and we will make these arrangements.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 9,850

Single supplement*

AUD 2,150

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking

Payment schedule

Deposit per person AUD 3,500 at the time of booking

Second payment per person AUD 3,500 due 01 December 2017

Balance due 20 March 2018


You can make payment by cash, cheque, direct deposit (including via Electronic Funds Transfers) and credit cards (American Express, MasterCard and Visa). A 1.5% service charge applies to payments made by MasterCard and Visa cards. A 3% service charge applies for payments by American Express. Direct funds transfers can be made to: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, account name: Renaissance Tours, BSB: 062-032, account number: 2800 4163. Swift code (use for transfers from overseas): CTBAAU2S

Cancellation and refunds – please note:

Your deposits and payments are used to pay for your Ring tickets, hotels and other suppliers and are non-refundable except in the event of cancellation of the performances or tour arrangements by Renaissance Tours. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below, calculated from the day written notification is received by Renaissance Tours.

90 days or more        – Forfeit of deposits and payments

Within 90 days         – 100% of tour cost

There is no refund after travel has commenced or for any other unused portion of the tour.

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.


Please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance with all your travel arrangements to and from San Francisco.


Australian and New Zealand passport holders require a visa for the United States of America. Please ask us for assistance.

Tour price includes

  • Premium category seats for all four Ring performances
  • 7 nights’ luxury accommodation in a Deluxe-View King room including breakfast daily (B), complimentary high-speed internet and unlimited access to the hotel’s fitness club including all classes. Our hotel, which is San Francisco’s finest, is centrally located on Market Street near Union Square
  • Luxury coach transfers to and from the performances at the San Francisco Opera
  • Enlightening pre-performance talks by Peter Bassett, a world-leading Wagner expert
  • A guided visit of the superb de Young Museum
  • A welcome cocktail reception on the first night (R)
  • A two-course welcome lunch (L) at the world-famous Cliff House overlooking the Pacific Ocean
  • A full-day tour to the Monterey Peninsula including lunch (L)
  • Wines included with all meals

Tour price does not include

  • International flights (please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)
  • Transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
  • Travel insurance (please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)

IMPORTANT: Travel insurance

It is a condition of travel with Renaissance Tours that you are covered by comprehensive travel insurance, including cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend that you purchase this insurance as soon as you have made any non-refundable deposits and payments. We can assist you with this – please enquire when you confirm your registration and booking.


Your hotel

Four Seasons San Francisco*****
With impeccable service and an ideal SoMa (South of Market Street) location, the luxury Four Seasons Hotel is a welcome oasis in the heart of San Francisco. Set on Market Street across from Yerba Buena Gardens and just a few blocks from Union Square, the hotel is within easy reach of all the attractions of the city and the Bay.

With hues of rich mocha and soft teal, the newly-refurbished 43-square-metre Deluxe-View rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of San Francisco from the 11th to 17th floors of the hotel. The large marble bathrooms have a deep soaking tub and separate glass-enclosed shower, and separate WC. There is also a dressing area and a comfortable lounge chair and large executive desk. House-keeping is provided twice-daily along with complimentary newspapers.

NB. Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted


When first unveiled as a complete four-opera cycle in 2011, the New York Times hailed Francesca Zambello’s production as “boldly contemporary.”

The San Francisco Chronicle observed: “San Francisco Opera’s most ambitious undertaking in years also turned out to be the company’s greatest triumph.”

Zambello revisited elements of the staging for its May 2016 revival at the Washington National Opera, and the production earned considerable acclaim in the nation’s capital. “Francesca Zambello’s Ring cycle is strong and moving, thought-provoking and powerful,” praised Anne Midgette of The Washington Post, who concluded, “My bottom line for any production, updated or not, is the quality of its storytelling, and this is where Zambello excelled. When a production creates characters that move you, and get you to re-engage with the work in new ways, it is succeeding.”

Metro Weekly commented: “The beautiful imagery, [Michael] Yeargan’s evocative sets and Zambello’s clear storytelling make for a powerful vehicle.”

Along with Zambello, the creative team includes set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Mark McCullough, projection designers S. Katy Tucker and Jan Hartley and chorus director Ian Robertson. The Ring is a co-production with Washington National Opera.


“Donald Runnicles’ musical direction was virtually faultless, as rich and eloquent a presentation of this music as one is ever likely to hear”

The Classical Review


“Experience spine-chilling moments that transcend a superbly executed performance and thrust the spectator into that elusive realm of sublime emotion and passionate ecstasy.”

–Opera Now


“Zambello is a brilliant story-teller….She is adept at finding the dramatic kernel of a scene, translating words and sung phrases into something that is compelling on stage.”

–The Classical Beat


Siegfried © Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera