Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Die Walküre. It was last on stage 26 September—28 October 2012 as part of the Autumn 2012/13 season.
A dangerous ring that grants its owner unlimited power has been forged. Wotan, ruler of the gods, is forced into a series of increasingly desperate compromises to try to retrieve it.
Die Walküre had its premiere in Munich in 1870. It was conceived by Richard Wagner as the first day of the Ring, following the 'prelude' of Das Rheingold. Its music includes the lyrical 'Spring Song' and surging 'Ride of the Valkyries', one of Wagner's most instantly recognizable melodies. Die Walküre is the most performed individual opera in the cycle. Its complex exploration of familial relations has provided inspiration for many writers, including George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Thomas Mann and Angela Carter.
Wotan's voyage of self-discovery and acceptance of the impossibility of his predicament are at the heart of Keith Warner’s production. Wotan’s great monologue in Act II – in a ruined hall of the gods that reflects his inner decline – is set to some of the most dramatic and experimental music Wagner created. By contrast, Siegmund and Sieglinde’s blossoming love is expressed in beautiful duets of great lyricism and fluidity, as is Wotan’s farewell to his beloved daughter Brünnhilde. Visual motifs recur throughout The Royal Opera’s production. They parallel Wagner’s innovative use of musical leitmotifs and bring unity to the cycle as a whole.
News and features
15 September 2016
From the Queen of the Night to Turandot by way of Norma and Brünnhilde, we round up some of opera’s most devilishly difficult soprano roles.
19 November 2014
Though always a controversial figure, this German composer revolutionized music.
8 July 2014
Our new interactive experience allows you to see parts of the ‘Opera Machine’ usually hidden from audiences.
24 September 2012
As the curtain goes up on Keith Warner's production, a guide to Wagner's epic operatic cycle.
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), WWV 86B, is a music drama in three acts by Richard Wagner with a German libretto by the composer. It is the second of the four works that form Wagner's cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). The story of Die Walküre is based on the Norse mythology told in the Volsunga Saga and the Poetic Edda. In Norse mythology, a valkyrie is one in a group of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Die Walküre's best-known excerpt is the "Ride of the Valkyries". It received its premiere at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich on 26 June 1870. Wagner originally intended the work to be premiered as part of the entire cycle, but was forced to allow the performance at the insistence of his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was first presented as part of the complete cycle on 14 August 1876 at Wagner's Bayreuth Festival. The work made its United States premiere at the Academy of Music in New York on 2 April 1877.