A complete film version of Opera North’s wildly successful production of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle is released for online streaming to a global audience from 12 February 2017, following an unprecedented sold-out tour of six complete cycles in 2016.
The films of the four complete Ring cycle operas — Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung — will be available to stream online for free, in partnership with BBC Arts Online. They can be watched in a 10-episode format, globally available from 12 February 2017, at www.bbc.co.uk/ringcycle.
The film of Das Rheingold, the first opera in the cycle, will also be broadcast on UK television by BBC Four at 7.00pm on 12 February 2017, with the four complete operas to be made available via the BBC iPlayer from the same date (UK only).
A radically stripped-back version of the Ring, Opera North's production has been highly praised for both the exceptional quality of its performance and the accessibility and intelligence of its staging.
Commissioned by The Space, live performances were filmed by Opera North over a week at Leeds Town Hall in May 2016, under the direction of Peter Mumford, the Ring's lighting and projection designer and concert staging director.
In addition to the four complete films of the Ring operas, Opera North will also release a full Ring cycle ‘conductor cam’ online. This fifteen-hour film is made up of a single shot of Richard Farnes conducting the entire cycle, one of the longest and most complex pieces of music ever written, which places incredible demands on its conductor.
The Ring begins with music that evokes the dawn of time, ends with the cataclysmic destruction of the world of the gods, and contains some of the most famous and powerful music ever written.
Creating an entirely new sound-world from vast orchestral forces, reshaping the development of classical music, the Ring’s cultural impact remains immeasurable, as Wagner’s innovative use of motifs and themes associated with characters continues to be a signal influence on blockbuster film and television scores.
Watch the trailer:
Das Rheingold will be broadcast by BBC Four at 7.00pm on Sunday 12 February 2017.