The production, based on all four segments of Richard's Wagner's famed "Ring" cycle of operas, draws on settings from U.S. history. The company began developing the production many years ago, but it was eventually completed by the San Francisco Opera, where Zambello is also the artistic advisor.
The company's five-year plan is capped by the commitment to present all four episodes of the "American Ring," 10 years after the company spent considerable time and money developing the production but couldn't complete the endeavor. When funds ran short in Washington, it was left to the San Francisco Opera to complete the cycle.
Washington National Opera is also creating a "New American Works" project, which will include 20-minute operas written by students based on contemporary American stories, along with the commissioning of both new one-hour operas and full-length opera, and the presentation of special holiday-themed operas.
Zambello will be represented on Broadway this season as co-director of Rebecca. Her other theater credits include The Little Mermaid, The First Wives Club, and The Little House on the Prairie. She is the artistic and general director of Glimmerglass Opera.