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Wagner’s Ring Cycle Part 1: Das Rheingold (BBC-4 12 Feb 2017)



Opera North’s acclaimed production of Das Rheingold, premiering on Sunday 12 February at 7.00pm on BBC Four, is presented on film, combining live performance footage from company’s 2016 presentation of the Ring cycle, enhanced with visual material, storytelling text and subtitles.

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.

Set in a world populated by dwarfs and giants, gods and river-maidens, Das Rheingold is the first of the four music dramas in 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.

Live performances were filmed by Opera North over a week at Leeds Town Hall, under the direction of Peter Mumford, the Ring’s lighting and projection designer and concert staging director. The resulting film, commissioned by The Space and presented in partnership with BBC Four and BBC Arts Online, combines live performance footage from this unique presentation of the Ring, enhanced with visual material, storytelling text and subtitles which appeared on giant screens during performances.

The films of the four complete Ring cycle operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung – will be available free and on demand, via BBC iPlayer and BBC Arts Online (globally available at from 12 February 2017.

Wotan: Michael Druiett
Loge: Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Alberich: Jo Pohlheim
Fricka: Yvonne Howard
Mime: Richard Roberts
Freia: Giselle Allen
Donner: Andrew Foster-Williams
Froh: Mark Le Brocq
Fasolt: James Creswell
Fafner: Mats Almgren
Erda: Claudia Huckle
Woglinde: Jeni Bern
Wellgunde: Madeleine Shaw
Flosshilde: Sarah Castle

Orchestra of Opera North

Conductor: Richard Farnes
Stage Director & Designer: Peter Mumford
Lighting & Projection Designer: Peter Mumford
Produced & Directed by: Peter Mumford

Wagner’s Ring Cycle Part 1: Das Rheingold airs on Sunday 12 February 2017 from 7.00pm-9.35pm on BBC Four