Virginia Opera to Stage Innovative ‘Das Rheingold’ at Topgolf

By Chris Ruel

Virginia Opera tees off its season with performances of a condensed version of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” at Topgolf Virginia Beach on Sept. 12, 2021, and at the venue’s Richmond location on Sept. 19.

The condensed “Rheingold,” adapted by Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick, and directed by Mary Birnbaum, will be performed amphitheater-style, with the driving range bays turned into box seats. The company will stage the performance on the range’s field.

“After numerous brainstorming sessions, we were driving down the highway when we spotted the facility’s huge nets and it hit us! Why not Topgolf!? It was the perfect outdoor venue choice—covered from the elements, comfortable seating, easy parking, accessible, serving delicious food and drinks, and their monitors in every bay even allow for the broadcasting of English surtitles,” said General Director and CEO Peggy Kriha Dye in a press statement.

Adam Turner will conduct the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and a cast that includes Catherine Goode, Lauren Cook, and Whitney Robinson as Rhinemaidens, Aubrey Allicock as Alberich, Daryl Freedman as Fricka, Kyle Albertson as Wotan, Sarah Tucker as Freia, Hidenori Inoue as Fasolt, Ricardo L. Lugo as Fafner, Eric McConnell as Donner, Joshua Blue as Loge, and Whitney Robinson as Erda.