One of the centre pieces of 2016 was Opera North’s unprecedented sold-out tour of six complete performances of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle during the summer of 2016. We were so excited to read that, from February 2017, all four operas will be available to stream online globally for free, in partnership with BBC Arts. To anybody who missed out on this remarkable project – here’s your chance!
HAVE YOU SEEN THE WORLD END?
OPERA NORTH’S 16 HOUR RING CYCLE RELEASED FOR FREE ONLINE STREAMING
– Das Rheingold TV broadcast scheduled for 7pm Sunday 12 February 2017 on BBC Four
– BBC Arts Online to stream the complete Ring cycle in 10 episodes, available globally, from 12 February 2017 at bbc.co.uk/ringcycle
– All four complete operas available on BBC iPlayer from 12 February 2017
Watch the trailer on YouTube!
Want to know more? Read on…
(Der Ring des Nibelungen)
Richard Wagner (1876)
Sung in German with English subtitles
Richard Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, in a radically stripped-back, critically acclaimed production by Opera North. Filmed during live performances in 2016, this is total immersion in a unique, all-encompassing music drama.
Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold)
Set in a world populated by dwarfs and giants, gods and river-maidens, Das Rheingold establishes the cycle in thrilling fashion, beginning with music that evokes the very dawn of time.
The dwarf Alberich renounces love and steals the Rhinegold, a priceless treasure, from the river Rhine. He uses it to forge a magic ring which confers wealth and power on its owner, drawing the attention of Wotan, king of the gods. In need of gold to pay for his new fortress, Valhalla, Wotan takes the ring from Alberich, setting in motion an epic conflict between love and power.
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
In Die Walküre, it is human emotion that takes centre stage, with musical highlights including ‘Winterstürme’ and the Ride of the Valkyries.
Wotan, king of the gods, strives to undo the curse placed on the ring by the dwarf Alberich, by fathering a mortal hero to reclaim it. But when his son Siegmund falls in love with his estranged twin sister, defying the laws of incest, Wotan sends his favourite daughter, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, to ensure Siegmund’s death. Yet her defiance will mean that Wotan has to say a final goodbye to her too.
Wagner’s unparalleled orchestral scene-painting reaches new heights as we meet the daring hero Siegfried, the grandson of Wotan, king of the gods.
Siegfried has been raised by the dwarf Mime in the forest, where he has never learned fear. When he learns of his parents’ deaths, he forges an unbreakable sword from the shards of the weapon that belonged to his father Siegmund, kills the dragon, Fafner, and claims the magic ring.
Fearless and free, Siegfried braves the fire surrounding the sleeping Brünnhilde, now a mortal woman, whom he innocently awakens, only to discover an all-consuming, passionate love.
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
The musical and dramatic power of Götterdämmerung is awe-inspiring, as the epic cycle concludes with the cataclysmic end of the old world of the gods, and the dawn of a new era.
The hero Siegfried leaves Brünnhilde to journey down the Rhine, seeking new adventures. Arriving at the hall of the Gibichungs, Siegfried is tricked into Brünnhilde’s betrayal, and killed by Hagen, son of the dwarf Alberich, who is plotting to gain control of the ring. But a devastated Brünnhilde finds a way to return the ring to the Rhine, and, finally, to redeem its curse.
Watch the trailer on YouTube!