‹ Back to What's On Die Walküre

16 Jun - 14 Jul 2012

Wotan is king of the gods, law-maker and father of nine warrior daughters (Valkyries) with the goddess of the Earth, Erda. He tries to break the curse of the Ring of power by fathering a pure-of-heart hero by a mortal woman. But when the lives of Wotan’s mortal off-spring are threatened, his plans to protect them are thwarted and his favourite daughter defies his will. Though Wotan still loves her dearly, he is forced to punish her severely.

Duration: approximately 5 hours 30 minutes (incl 2 intervals)

Sung in German with English titles

What the critics say

'the evening’s crown was Alwyn Mellor’s Sieglinde....you’d be lucky to hear as good at Bayreuth...so far this Ring has been nothing short of stupendous.'

The Telegraph - Full Review ›

All in all, a victorious night...superb playing of the Opera North Orchestra, dynamically conducted by Richard Farnes.

The TImes - Full Review ›

A dauntingly long evening flies by – the orchestral playing is world class, and Richard Farnes‘s clear-sighted conducting is a marvel. You hear everything you need to, and the singers are rarely overwhelmed. It’s all beautifully paced, with an extended final scene played with touching sweetness, just at the point where you expect the musicians to be falling off their chairs with fatigue.

The Arts Desk - Full Review ›

Less can be more when it comes to Wagner, and Opera North's "austerity Ring" – now on its second instalment in its second year – continues to enthral and amaze....Richard Farnes's conducting, meanwhile, is sensational in its sweep, detail and understanding.

The Guardian - Full Review ›

a thrilling and moving experience

The Independent - Full Review ›

A fine account of Fricka from Katarina Karneus, and eight splendid Valkyrie complete the cast, the superb playing of the Orchestra of Opera North, with Richard Farnes conducting, drawing the most enthusiastic part of a long and noisy final ovation.

Yorkshire Post - Full Review ›

It is so entirely absorbing that, bar a numb behind, you are utterly transported to musical Valhalla for half a day. This performance richly deserves the lengthy rapturous applause that broke out following every act. Seek it out. It will be with you forever.

Evening Chronicle - Full Review ›



Wagnerian singers don’t grow on trees…


One question I'm invariably asked when people learn that I sing Wagner is 'how do you become a Wagnerian?'. The music is on a scale like no other, and as someone remarked to me recently, Wotans and Brünnhildes don't grow on trees.  Read More

  • Sieglinde ALWYN MELLOR
  • Hunding CLIVE BAYLEY
  • Ortlinde MEETA RAVAL
  • Gerhilde MIRIAM MURPHY
  • Grimgerde ANTONIA SOTGIU
  • Schwertleite EMMA CARRINGTON
Creative Team
  • Conductor RICHARD FARNES
  • Concert Staging and Lighting/Projection Designer PETER MUMFORD

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.


Find Us

Leeds Town Hall
The Headrow

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • There is full wheelchair access to Leeds Town Hall through the entrance at ground level at the front of the building. 
  • A number of spaces in the auditorium are reserved for wheelchair users.
  • There are accessible toilet facilities at all levels.
  • Support dogs are welcome. 
  • If you would like any further information on facilities for patrons with disabilities, please call 0113 395 0322. 

Leeds Town Hall is conveniently located in the centre of Leeds, next to Leeds Central Library and Leeds City Art Gallery. It is a five minute walk from both the rail and bus stations and a ten minute drive from the M1 and M62 motorways.

  • The nearest secure parking is available at The Light (accessible via Great George Street). Price: £6.50 between 5.30pm-12.00am
  • 24 hour, 7 days a week parking is available at Woodhouse Lane car park. Price: £2 for 2 hours, £3 for 3 hours, £4 for 4 hours, £5.50 for 12 hours
  • On-street parking is also available. Price: £2 between 6.00pm-8.00am
  • We advise patrons travelling by car to leave as much time as possible for parking

Choose from these fantastic pre-performance dining options and make your experience complete!


Explore the pre-theatre menu (available Monday to Saturday 5.00-6.30pm) or a la carte menu at Iberica, Leeds' authentic Spanish dining experience, just a three minute walk from Leeds Town Hall. Turandot bookers can also enjoy a complimentary glass of cava when ordering from either menu on presentation of ticket (day of performance). 

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 403 7007

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 2 minute walk from Leeds Town Hall, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'


Find Us

St Mary's Square
Gateshead Quays


The Sage Gateshead has its own car park with lift access situated directly behind the building.  If you arrive and depart within 30 minutes, there is no charge.  From 06.00-17.00 charges are £1.50 per hour, paid for on exit only.  From 5pm there is a pre-pay discounted rate available at a fixed charge of £3.50 for the whole evening.

Further car parking is available within two to fifteen minutes walking distance from The Sage Gateshead, in Gateshead and Newcastle centres.

Thanks to the generosity of Nexus, you can travel to and from Gateshead Interchange by Metro absolutely free: simply retain your event ticket for inspection on the Metro (valid two hours prior to, and after, an event at The Sage Gateshead).


The bright yellow Quaylink buses run every 10 minutes during the day, around every 20 minutes during the evenings and directly serves The Sage Gateshead.


Find Us

Broad Street
B1 2EA


By Rail

Birmingham New Street and Snow Hill stations are within easy walking distance of Town Hall and Symphony Hall.


The main Pay & Display car park underneath the National Indoor Arena (NIA) is about a 10 minute walk from Symphony Hall. Additional spaces are available in the local Paradise Circus multi-storey car park (formerly Brindley Drive), Brindleyplace and Cambridge Street car parks.

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

What you say

Comment from Simon gregory


Simon gregory said ago

A thrilling and wonderful experience.
The Valkryies deserve special mention, superbly sung and genuinely evocative. The orchestra and conductor are the icing on the cake with a real weight and the strings deserve special mention.
A quite astonishing performance which does credit to all concerned and then some. It packs an emotional clout of real substance.

Comment from Louise Armstrong


Louise Armstrong said ago

I loved this concert performance - so much easier to hear the singers when they can stand at the front and simply sing. Woeful/Sigmund stood out for me, and Wotan was moving in the last act. Beautiful playing from the orchestra all through. The surtitles were well written, making sense of the bonkers plot, but the presentation was a disgrace! The lettering was white, and shown over photographs or pale grey clouds! Can't wait for the next installment.

Comment from ToffeeTim


ToffeeTim said ago

Wonderful. Surpassed my expectations musically and dramatically with just enough "acting". Pity about the background for the subtitles and Fricka's which were right at the top of the screen so the top line was not visible and there were 5 rows behing me! This could have been fixed.

Comment from Alex Frost


Alex Frost said ago

Returned disappointed after a long journey from the Sage. My comments mirror many I spoke with. While Sieglinde, the orchestra and Fricka were excellent, and the staging well thought out, Brunnhilde was unimpressive and critically there was no chemistry between her and an increasingly tedious Wotan (although he did soften in the right places, it was by then irrelevant); so Act II was marred and III spoiled knowing the final scene would be (and was) a let down before it even arrived. Most of all I'm upset with the reviewers and media for the hype; every seat was filled and I made a 10 hour return journey. Let's be realsitic and not throw 5* recommendations around like confetti when they simply aren't justified.

Comment from Neville


Neville said ago

I attended one of the Leeds Town Hall performances of Die Walkure. It was simply superb. I was fortunate enough to attend the ENO Ring in Leeds, back in the seventies. This was easily its equal, and in terms of orchestral playing, far, far superior. I recorded the Radio 3 Die Walkure evening on 20/6/12, but sadly I accidentally deleted it. If anyone could lend me a copy that I can duplicate and return, I would be eternally grateful. Nevleeds@hotmail.com

Comment from Elizaveta


Elizaveta said ago

I was at the performance in Birmingham yesterday. Die Walküre is my favourite opera but this was my first experience listening to it live. And what an experience it was! Béla Perencz was especially striking. It is really great to hear a Wotan who sounds godlike but clearly has human feelings. Annalena Persson and Alwyn Mellor convinced me that good Wagnerian sopranos do exist these days, those who can not only sing the notes but also portray convicingly those heroines of the Ring, valiant and strong-willed but sometimes touching and vulnerable. Erik Nelson Werner sometimes reminded me of Jon Vickers' recordings. He is a romantic Siegmund, especially great in milder moments like Winterstürme. However, his call for the sword in Act I stroke me, together with Wagner's orchestra, like a thunderbolt. I listened to this moment many times in recording, but until yesterday I never realised how powerful it is. Thank you very much for this great production, and I am looking forward to listening to Siegfried next year!
[And I agree with another commentator that the backgroud for the surtitles should have been darker. It was not easy to read them as they were.]

Comment from David Morgan


David Morgan said ago

Thank you Opera North for a wonderful evening of Wagner in Birmingham last night. I am waiting with baited breath for the next 2 installments. You have demonstrated to other opera companies how to produce a concert performance that is better than a full-scale production. More please!

May I make two constructive criticisms. In Rhinegold, i felt the screened images complimented the performance. Last night, some of the images were obstrusive and i had to close my eyes at times. To be subtle is better! Secondly, I had problems reading the text - white text on a light background does not work. The elderly lady sat next to me could not read any of the text. Hope this is helpful.

Comment from Deborah


Deborah said ago

Have just returned from the performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Absolutely Wow-wow-wow!!! Wonderful to hear Wagner sung rather than shouted. For my 77 year companion, this was her first experience of the Ring - and she was completely won over, not dozing even once. Rapturous applause from a very full house, deservedly so. Exciting and moving in equal measure - so there's no way I'll sleep tonight! Thank you everyone for a terrific night - just disappointed that I can't see it at least one more time!

Comment from Mary Oswell


Mary Oswell said ago

Heard this brilliant production at The Sage Gateshead on Saturday and I'm still listening to the Leeds Radio 3 version online! Opera North has perfected the art (and it is an art) of the Concert Performance: most of the singing is towards the auditorium, just the occasional touch, look, gesture, kiss provide poignant interactions. The unhurried movement with a relatively static stage, allowed us to pay great attention to the superlatively interpreted music, unhindered by intrusive or annoying business between the singers (remember Chereau?). Who were, by the way, marvellous: invidious to pick out individuals, but Alwyn Mellor's Sieglinde was incandescent; Bela Perencz had me in tears when he bade farewell to Brunnhilde (such tenderness after such wrath); Katarina Karneus was a wonderfully bitchy bullying wife; and didn't Annalena Persson do well? Especially when you remember she was too ill to sing 3 days earlier.
A scintillating, illuminating evening: it was great to be able to see, and really appreciate, the magnificent playing of the ON orchestra. (Superlative woodwind, btw.) The only tiny thing... I kept wondering if the (miracle working) Richard Farnes would fall off his rail-less podium!

Comment from Tim Hills


Tim Hills said ago

A terrific production and also a superb way of introducing Wagner to newcomers. No incomprehensible big, bad Gesamtkunstwerk here -- just impact and clarity. Quite a few other operas might benefit from the same approach: dynamic video backpieces, real-time plot summaries and explanations, substantial surtitles dynamically keyed to the position of the current singer, to name a few.

Comment from Nicholas Dobson


Nicholas Dobson said ago

Saw last night - for the second time. Excellent production. Many thanks to everyone concerned for the extremely hard and co-ordinated work which has paid off handsomely. Particular credit to Kelly Cae Hogan for heroically - as befits a Valkyrie! - stepping in at the last moment for Annalena Persson who had rehearsed the role. If you're toying with the idea of going to see the production at one of the venues, toy no more. Just go!

Comment from Barbara Kelly


Barbara Kelly said ago

What a stupendous performance we had yesterday of Die Walkure. It was spine tingling both in terms of singing voices and the orchestra - the hours flew by unnoticed. What wonderful Valkyries we heard and saw - women not to be messed with, go and see them and a heart rendding Brunnhilde and Sieglinde with a voice like an angel.

Comment from Adam Baldwin


Adam Baldwin said ago

It is for nights like Saturday's performance of Walkure that I go to the opera. I was enthralled and moved by the human drama unfolding, and entirely lost in admiration for the conducter, orchestra and cast. A score and story I know reasonably well had me on the edge of my seat, my hands gripping its arms in tension and excitement. My thanks as an audience member to all involved in this intelligent and gripping production. Roll on Siegfried......

Comment from Graham Douglas


Graham Douglas said ago

A wonderful performance and the audience were rightly indebted to Miss Hogan who stepped up to the mark admirably under very difficult circumstances.
We had Wagnerian singing and Orchestral playing that stands comparison with any company in the world and should be very pleased with Opera North.

Comment from Paul Caldwell


Paul Caldwell said ago

A terrific rendition of Valkyrie. The semi-staged and intimate venue enhanced and added poignancy to the theme of Wotans duty to uphold high cold morality contrasting with the low warmth of humanity. This is often lost in its normal staging.
Its a shame that we have to wait a year for the next cycle.

Leave a comment

The Music

The musical highlights are many and some will be very familiar through their regular play in films, advertising and on the radio: Siegmund’s hymn of praise to the coming of spring and the awakening of love, ‘Winterstürme’, the Ride of the Valkyries, the Magic Fire music and, above all, the great confrontation between Wotan and Brünnhilde.

Production Info

The full scale and splendour of Wagner’s magnificent conception will be revealed in dramatic performances for the concert hall. With film projections and atmospheric lighting, you will have the rare opportunity to immerse yourself completely in the music, conducted by the Company’s Music Director Richard Farnes.

Did You Know?

The Bayreuth Festspielhaus, the theatre Wagner created solely for the purpose of staging his work, is famous for its outstanding acoustics and its very uncomfortable seats. To buy a ticket for a performance, you still have to wait for up to ten years.

Restaurant Recommendations

Deli style picnic:

Enjoy a delicious picnic style deli menu at Leeds Town Hall. 

Download menu
To make a reservation please call: 01937 849 911

Browns: A La Carte Menu

Browns Leeds offers a stylish blend of classic and modern dishes, platters-to-share, pasta, salads, sides and puddings.

Download menu
To make a reservation please call: 0113 243 9353

Gaucho: Express Menu

This sumptuous restaurant exudes contemporary glamour married with authentic Argentine culture. Indulge in the finest Argentine steaks and wine. 
Download menu
To make a reservation call: 0113 2461783
Please quote 'Wagner' when booking so that Gaucho can ensure the quickest service during the interval. 

Thai Edge: A La Carte Menu, 15% Off

Inspirational Thai dishes in a unique oriental contemporary setting. 
Download menu
To make a reservation call: 0113 243 6333


The New Ellington

This menu is available on the 20 & 27 June only
Download menu

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a selection of sharing deli platters at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar.

Download menu
To make a reservation call: 0113 2428094

Interval Times

Saturday 16 June
1st interval at 5.40pm - 6.10pm
2nd interval at 7.45pm - 9.00pm

Wednesday 20 and Wednesday 27 June
1st interval at 6.10pm - 6.40pm
2nd interval at 8.15pm - 9.30pm