Watch Opera North’s acclaimed staging of Wagner’s epic masterpiece online, in full, for free. Read our Ring Cycle in a nutshell guide »
Watch online: The Ring Cycle
The Ring begins with music that evokes the very dawn of time. From this moment we are plunged into the watery twilight beneath the river Rhine, transported to misty mountain-tops and to the depths of gloomy Nibelheim, before crossing the rainbow bridge that leads to Valhalla, fortress home of the gods. Set in a world populated by dwarfs and giants, gods and river-maidens, Wagner’s ‘preliminary evening’ to the Ring sets the whole epic cycle in motion in thrilling fashion.
“Beg, borrow, or be like Wotan and steal a ticket for this show”
★★★★★ — The Times
In Die Walküre, it is human emotion that takes centre stage. The musical highlights are many: ‘Winterstürme’, Siegmund’s hymn of praise to the coming of spring and the awakening of love; the Ride of the Valkyries; the Magic Fire music. Above all, there is the great confrontation between the god Wotan and his favourite daughter, Brünnhilde – the Valkyrie of the title – who love each other deeply, yet whose relationship has been irreparably broken by her disobedience.
“You’d be lucky to hear as good at Bayreuth”
★★★★★ — The Telegraph
Wagner’s unparalleled orchestral scene-painting reaches new heights in Siegfried. The youthful hero, fearless and free, forges an unbreakable sword from the shards of the weapon that belonged to his father, slays the dragon Fafner, seizes the ring from the dragon’s hoard, and braves a ring of magic fire that encircles the sleeping maiden, Brünnhilde, whom he awakens to love.
★★★★★ — The Arts Desk
In the overwhelming conclusion of the cycle, 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-sacrifice 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 – sweeping us from Siegfried’s Rhine Journey to his Funeral March, and, finally, to Brünnhilde’s immolation and the work’s titanic orchestral climax.