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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
$6m to stage Wagner's Ring in LA
Opera star Placido Domingo with Eli and Edythe Broad
Eli and Edythe Broad (left and centre) donated $6 million
The Los Angeles Opera will spend a $6m (3.2m) gift from two philanthropists on staging its first production of Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle.

The four-opera production, which takes days to perform, took 28 years for the German composer to write.

Tenor Placido Domingo, who is general director of the opera company, thanked Eli and Edythe Broad - who made money from house building - for the donation.

"I hope to sing the role of Siegmund, if I am still singing then," he said.

"The far-reaching generosity of their gift will help make this vision a reality," the 65-year-old added.

Details about the cast and schedule will be released later this month.

Success hoped

The Ring's impact on the city's cultural and economic life goes beyond the power of the production itself
Eli Broad, philanthropist

In the past the Ring cycle has been profitable in cities like Chicago and Bayreuth, Germany.

Eli Broad, who founded real estate company KB Home and financial services firm SunAmerica, expects the Los Angeles production to be just as successful.

"The Ring's impact on the city's cultural and economic life goes beyond the power of the production itself," he said.

"A Ring cycle must be presented over a series of six days or so. It encourages visitors from all over the world to stay at least a week."

His wife Edythe suggested staging Wagner's work in Los Angeles.

"My husband didn't want to take me to Europe to hear it," she joked.

Based on Norse mythology, Der Ring des Nibelungen - known also as the Ring cycle - tells the story of the struggle over a ring so powerful that it gives its bearer the ability to rule the world.

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