Classical Stories
1:10 pm
Sun August 1, 2010

Los Angeles Opera's Ring Cycle on WRTI


Join us on Saturday afternoons in August for complete performances of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Upcoming broadcasts of LA Opera's "Ring Cycle" from the 2009/2010 season, conducted by James Conlon, are scheduled on:

August 21: Gotterdammerung at 12 noon

Watch and Listen: Videos from LA Opera's "Ring Cycle"

Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is a monumental experience that tells a unified story, drawn from Norse mythology, over the course of four complete operas. They're often referred to as "The Ring Cycle," "Wagner's Ring," or simply "The Ring." Wagner's concept was immense: an orchestral, vocal, and theatrical portrayal of a legendary war between gods and mortals for control of the Earth. Conceived as a festival event, it is the largest work in the history of Western music, developed over the course of 28 years from its conception in 1848 to the first performances of the completed cycle in 1876.

The plot revolves around a magic ring that grants the power to rule the world, forged by the Nibelung dwarf Alberich from gold stolen from the river Rhine. Several mythic figures struggle for possession of the Ring, including Wotan (Odin), the chief of the gods. Wotan's scheme to overcome his limitations, spanning generations, drives much of the action in the story. The hero Siegfried wins the Ring, as Wotan intended, but is eventually betrayed and slain. Finally, the Valkyrie Brunnhilde, Siegfried's lover and Wotan's estranged daughter, returns the Ring to the Rhine. In the process, the Gods are destroyed.