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14 Jun - 12 Jul 2014

Twilight of the Gods

Opera North’s four-year traversal of Der Ring des Nibelungen reaches the cycle’s overwhelming conclusion. The all-consuming love of Siegfried and Brünnhilde is broken in bitter betrayal; the machinations of Hagen, son of Alberich, seal Siegfried’s doom; and Brünnhilde’s self-immolation precipitates the end of the old world order and the beginning of a new era.

The musical and dramatic power of Götterdämmerung is awe-inspiring – from Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, to the mighty chorus of the Gibichung vassals, to Siegfried’s Funeral March, and – above all – to Brünnhilde’s immolation and the work’s titanic orchestral climax.

Alwyn Mellor, widely praised for her radiant portrayal of Sieglinde in Opera North’s Die Walküre in 2012, sings the role of Brünnhilde in these performances. She is joined by a cast that also includes the Estonian tenor Mati Turi as Siegfried and Susan Bickley as Waltraute. All are under the guidance of Opera North’s Music Director Richard Farnes, whose conducting of the previous instalments of this cycle has been universally acclaimed.

Sung in German with English titles

Inside Opera Special: The Music of Götterdämmerung
Join Martin Pickard, Opera North's Head of Music, for a unique exploration of Wagner's monumental musical achievement in the final instalment of the Ring cycle.

Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Saturday 12 July 1.45pm - 2.45pm
Tickets: FREE, but must be booked in advance

Free pre-performance talk
Opera North's Head of Music Martin Pickard in conversation with Stuart Leeks about the final instalment of Wagner's epic Ring cycle. The talk takes place in the auditorium and is free to all ticket-holders for the following performances.

Wed 18 June 2.30pm - 3.00pm Leeds Town Hall
Sat 21 June 2.15pm - 2.45pm Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Sat 28 June 2.30pm - 3.00pm Sage Gateshead
Sat 5 July 2.30pm - 3.00pm The Lowry

Opera North's pre-performance talks are made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Opera North.

Performance time (approx): 6 hours 21mins 
Please note: performance time includes two intervals.

Running time for Leeds Town Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Lowry: 

I Act approx 2 hrs 5 mins, 3.30pm - 5.35pm
Interval 75 mins, 5.35pm - 6.50pm
II Act approx 70 mins, 6.50pm - 7.58pm
Interval 30 mins, 7.58pm - 8.28pm
III. Act approx 83 mins, 8.28pm - 9.51pm

Running time for Sage Gateshead:

I Act approx 2 hrs 5 mins, 3.30pm - 5.35pm
Interval 85 mins, 5.35pm - 7pm
II Act approx 70 mins, 7pm - 8.10pm
Interval 20 mins, 8.10pm - 8.30pm
III. Act approx 80 mins, 8.30pm - 9.50pm

What the critics say

Ultimately, however, the sheer sound-pressure levels attained during Siegfried's funeral march exemplified that this project has principally been the orchestra's triumph.

The Guardian - Full Review ›

a tremendous achievement

The Telegraph - Full Review ›

Fight for a ticket.

The Arts Desk - Full Review ›

Ultimately, however, the sheer sound-pressure levels attained during Siegfried's funeral march exemplified that this project has principally been the orchestra's triumph.

The Guardian - Full Review ›

the hottest of hot tickets in the north this month

The Times - Full Review ›

  • Brünnhilde Alwyn Mellor
  • Siegfried Mati Turi
  • Hagen Mats Almgren
  • Gutrune Orla Boylan
  • Gunther Eric Greene
  • Alberich Jo Pohlheim
  • Waltraute Susan Bickley
  • First Norn Fiona Kimm
  • Second Norn Heather Shipp
  • Third Norn Lee Bisset
  • Woglinde Katherine Broderick
  • Wellgunde Madeleine Shaw
  • Flosshilde Sarah Castle
Creative Team
  • Conductor Richard Farnes
  • Concert Staging Peter Mumford
  • 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

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.


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.

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 Gerry


Gerry said ago

Saw the last performance at Leeds Town Hall on 12th July and can only say that it was magnificent, overwhelming, stunning.

Having seen Gotterdammerung several times at the RHO and ENO, I can honestly say that this was the most intense reading of the music-drama that I have ever experienced.

The clarity of the playing and the intelligent performances of the singers brought completely new insights into music I thought I knew thoroughly.

I hope to be able to see the full cycle in 2 years.

I will never forget what I saw a week ago.

Thank you

Comment from David Hunt


David Hunt said ago

Not previously a Wagner fan, I saw all four parts, and enjoyed them all immensely. I'm going to miss the annual pilgrimage. I've listened to many performances of The Ring, with the intention of having on my CD shelves, and yours were not just world class performances, but world leading performances. The pace of the music was perfect, and the quiet passages magical. I would also like to thank the quietest audiences I've ever (not) heard.

Comment from David Nock


David Nock said ago

12th july Leeds and Sage Gateshead 2 weeks earlier.
Only two words. FABULOUS, FABULOUS.

And the young girl with her partner seated next to my wife and I nearly stamped through the Leeds Town Hall Balcony floor with a tremendous show of appreciation at the overwhelming end. So it's not just opera for oldies.

Thanks, Thanks to all involved.

Comment from David Foulger


David Foulger said ago

I have seen quite a few productions of the Ring Cycle, from 1956 at Covent Garden, through ENO, and Bayreuth a few years ago, but I must say that this was one of the most outstanding performances I have ever heard. All the singers where world class, Alwyn Mellor, Eric Greene and Mats Almgren were some of the finest singers I have heard in their respective roles, and the orchestra raked up on the Town Hall stage were overwhelming under Richard Farnes direction. I loved the staging which told the story far more clearly than any "Konzept" production. Well worth travelling up from London to see it. Will I come to the full cycle in two years time ? I hope so, but I will be 80 by then !

Comment from Hamish Michie


Hamish Michie said ago

Saw it at the Lowry. Absolutely brilliant, especially Hagen and the Conductor. Please show again soon.

Comment from Peter Jackson


Peter Jackson said ago

My wife and I felt utterly privileged to be in the audience on Saturday. The concert concept was an undisputed triumph. Minimal stage direction,symbolic backdrops and easy to follow storyline and libretto made it possible to concentrate on the superb singing and the fantastic sound produced by the ON orchestra.
What a pity we don't have a Sage,Symphony Hall or Lowrie in which to showcase their musicianship. Sincere congratulations to all involved in this massive

Comment from Yorkie


Yorkie said ago

I'll count myself very, VERY lucky if I ever hear another "Gotterdammerung" to equal yesterday's awe-inspiring performance at Leeds Town Hall. As others have already said, the absence of costumes and sets just doesn't matter when the singers and orchestra convey the drama so brilliantly.

Comment from Alllegra


Alllegra said ago

I've just listened to this production on Radio 3 and - as a lover of this opera, having seen and listened to a lot of productions of it, I have to say this production by Opera North is the best performance I have ever heard. It was electrifyingly exciting, terrifying at times - the threat conveyed by Hagen's music palpable - and intensely and profoundly moving; by the end tears were pouring down my cheeks.
The singing was utterly superb throughout with both marvellous characterisation and staggeringly beautiful sound. And as for the orchestral playing, it was stunning. Every aspect of the music was expressed with the utmost clarity and fidelity, intensifying the experience, carrying and supporting the whole performance. I can't praise it highly enough.
I wish I could have seen this concert performance - reading reviews of people who did see it, it sounds as though it was visually as stunning as aurally. Next year.

Comment from Polly


Polly said ago

My husband was a violinist in the orchestra at Covent Garden, and I got to see several performances of The Ring, which was mostly done each September, as the opener to the season. I saw Solti conduct it, as well as others, and although I have never been to Bayreuth, I have seen relays from there, on TV. I have seen performances from the Met as well. Absolutely NONE came up to the standard of Opera North's presentation at Birmingham on June 21st... Nothing I have ever seen compares even closely with this performance - what a gigantic achievement this was!

There were simply NO weak links at all - all the singers were excellent. I have seen Mati Turi as Hagen singled out in a couple of reviews, and he was simply terrific - both in voice, and in the sense of evil he conveyed in his characterisation. But Alwyn Mellor as Brunnhilde was also just amazing in her dual projection of unflinching courage, and her femininity, and her wonderful voice was a revelation.
But to single anyone out is invidious. As I've said, there were no weak links anywhere, and these were simply first among equals.
The screens at the back of the hall were brilliantly used, providing an indication of the background, without ever pretending to be a backdrop, or imposing
too far into the music or the story. It simply implied an element - water, trees, rock, a hall, but always generically, and in a non-specific way, just enough to suggest a flavour, without any pretence of being actual scenery. I was amused to see that the toffee-nosed Guardian review seemed to take issue with the suggestion of the Gibbichung Hall as being like a "freshly creosoted shed"! What did he think it should have been, in a story that goes back into an ancient time of mythology? Only the gods would have been able to muster the grandeur, and luxury, and materials that we now think of as appropriate to a royal residence!! What was suggested was something like a Saxon or Nordic 'halle' - very appropriate I thought!

Having the subtitles projected on the same screen, was also clever and helpful. No one goes to see The Ring, if they know absolutely nothing about the story, or unless they speak fluent German, but the subtitles were a great plus - even to using the screen in closest proximity to the singer.

The movements and lighting, were all done with such incredible artistry. The slow deliberate movements of the singers, matching the expansiveness of the music, and the dress so neutral that it could almost have fitted equally well 800 years ago - or today. The characters moved on and off 'stage' so seamlessly, that unless you trained your attention on that aspect (and why would you?), you barely saw a join between one character leaving, and another coming on. The lighting helped in this, as well accenting particular singers or atmosphere.

The whole conception was a triumph. I can honestly say I have never seen a Ring to equal it. But though the singers, from Brunnhilde to the Rhine-maidens were uniformly amazingly good, the ultimate accolade has to go - as others have said - to Richard Farne and the orchestra of Opera North. They were amazing. The stamina and artistry the showed were beyond superlatives - only the principal trumpet was a little less than amazing. The tempi were perfect, and you knew that the large, lush orchestration was in the hands of artists and professionals. Above all Richard Farne deserves a medal for what he achieved. When they played Siegfried's funeral music - which I have heard so many times before - the shivers ran up and down my spine, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood to immediate attention!

I have to say I was a bit ambivalent about a 'concert' performance' - in many operas, you lose a necessary sense of place and atmosphere which are essential to the whole, and so the result can be a bit 'clinical', however beautiful the singing. So with today's fashion for using power stations, high viz jackets, lakes and warehouses, and other totally inappropriate and pretentious rubbish to stage an opera, this production was in yet another way, outstanding and unqualified success, with nothing to offend or carp at. It was the clearest, cleverest and most beautiful production of Wagner I have ever seen, bar none. This format works perfectly for Wagner - even better than a full staging, I believe. I did not see the first 3 parts, only Gotterdamerung _ and how sad I am at that. But I shall make up for it in 2016, and I am looking forward eagerly to The Dutchman next year.
This is how Wagner SHOULD be done without pretension, and without pointless props and visual distraction. I have never known that before - but I do now. There is no other company, and nowhere in the world, where you could better this. Well done Opera North!

Comment from Carole


Carole said ago

On a 'meltingly' warm afternoon/evening in Leeds Town Hall, Opera North's performance of Götterdämmerung was perfect. It seems unfair to pick out any one person for plaudits but I must say that Mats Almgren as Hagen was superb.

Comment from Neil


Neil said ago

I went to the performance at Leeds Town Hall. It was a fantastic end to a brilliant Ring cycle. Bravo Opera North. The orchestra was for me the star of the evening. Some amazing playing and it was great to see and hear the Wagner tubas and the huge harp section in all their glory. Alwyn Mellor was a brilliant Brunhilde. So good to hear the clarity of the German language even in the really high bits.

Onwards and upwards Opera North!

Comment from anne


anne said ago

it was superb. It is far preferable to be positioned in the gallery for the acoustic (we were in the stalls last year) I thought the minimal dramatic gestures were very powerful. the music soared and mostly I didn't need much imagination to feel the drama. Fabulous singing and playing. thank you

Comment from Steven Wrigley-Howe


Steven Wrigley-Howe said ago

The critics are right, this is above all an outstanding orchestral achievement: I have never heard an orchestra sound more overwhelmingly powerful (and not just in the funeral music) in any opera house or concert hall in the world and really began to wonder if it was amplified at times. Which is not to say it was only loud, the orchestral sound was also rich and sensual and delicately soft when required, nor is it to belittle the singers' performances, of which Hagen is rightly singled out.

I liked the semi staging with video backdrops but feel more could have been done with this but probably wasn't in the interests of not 'distracting' the audience. If so this is odd since many full productions are far more distracting. But perhaps a minimalist staging only further enhanced the sheer sonic pleasure that flowed tirelessly from orchestra and singers.

It was an unforgettable experience and I hope to see it, hear it and feel it again.

Comment from John Green


John Green said ago

The Gotterdammerung at Birmingham Symphony Hall was my first experience of this opera. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The whole cast and orchestra were superb. I must highlight the portrayals of Hagan and Gunther as excellent. I am a novice to this opera, but the intensity in the "silent" acting of Eric Greene and Mats Almgren gave full development to their respective characters.

Comment from Peter West


Peter West said ago

Dear Opera North
Götterdämerung - Birmingham.

My head is still ringing (that dreadful pun WAS intended, I now feel almost ashamed to admit) with the simply glorious orchestral and vocal sounds you people created at this your latest Wagner production.

Act 3 was ALMOST an anticlimax, quite simply because Act 2 (from start to finish) was just PERFECT. In more than 50 years of listening to, and watching, Wagner opera (and I have truly lost count of Götterdämmerung scalps I have collected - including at Bayreuth in the days when they knew HOW to stage an opera without causing offence) I have never gone into that second interval feeling quite so, well, you know, intoxicated, pole axed and stunned.

There were some truly innovative touches in this production.

Semi-staged opera can be a mite mundane: sometimes too static, but you guys have got it just right. Just one gentle criticism, if I may.

The illusion of a singer drinking from an imaginary cup, or plunging a non-existent spear into the back of an intended victim didn't work. It looked, dare in say, a bit amateurish, so, please, for the benefit of those lucky souls who are at this moment queuing to buy tickets for the upcoming performances, do spend a few shillings and buy some props.

I, for one, expected great things from Alwyn Mellor, and she didn't disappoint, so three cheers for her, but for me the really BIG star of the evening was the Hagen.

This role is as important as any in Götterdämmerung. Hagen's singing and acting was magical: evil personified, and amongst the best Hagen's I have ever seen - and I've seen the best in the business, from the late Gottlob Frick, to dear John Tomlinson.

So, keep it up Opera North, and keep making an old man happy.

You're up there with the 'biggies' in the business, but you don't need me to tell you that, do you?

Yours, in deep admiration.

Peter West

Comment from Opera North


Opera North said ago

Thank you for your comment, Leaky. Addresses - bar the one for Gaucho are in the menues that you can download. The last 3 years we only offered the Deli picnic option at Leeds Town Hall - just like this year.

Comment from John M


John M said ago

Stunning performance Wednesday. So many great moments stick in the mind but my abiding memory will be Mat Almgren as Hagen - never have I seen such an operatic "bad hat" as him. And the ON orchestra played its heart out for Richard Farnes.

Comment from Leaky


Leaky said ago

why no addresses for the recommended restaurants? and why no in-house sit-down catering as in the last three years?

Comment from Julia


Julia said ago

I simply cannot wait to hear this! It's great to hear that ON will be doing 'The Flying Dutchman" next year - dare I hope that "Parsifal" might be coming to Leeds Town Hall in the not too distant future?

Leave a comment

Production Info

A collaboration with The Sage Gateshead and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Financially supported by the Opera North Future Fund and The Ring Fellowship.

Part of Yorkshire Festival 2014

Restaurant Recommendations

Deli style picnic:
Enjoy a delicious picnic style deli menu at Leeds Town Hall. There are now two options - a standard and a luxury basket.
Download menu
To make a reservation please call: 01937 849 911

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 246 1783. Please quote ‘Opera North’ when booking to receive a complimentary glass of bubbly upon arrival and for bespoke advice to ensure speedy interval dining service.

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

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