Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Götterdämmerung. It was last on stage 1 October—2 November 2012 as part of the Autumn 2012/13 season.
Siegfried has awoken Brünnhilde from a deep sleep and they have fallen in love. Siegfried gives her the magic ring in token of his love, but they are soon caught up in events beyond their control.
Götterdämmerung was Richard Wagner’s starting point in writing the Ring cycle: the other three operas provide background to the central event of Siegfried’s death, which first inspired the composer. It took Wagner 26 years to complete Götterdämmerung and it had its premiere in 1876, at the first performance of the complete cycle at Bayreuth. Wagner brings the Ring to a close with music of great power and complexity, bringing together leitmotifs from throughout the cycle with new material.
Götterdämmerung moves from the mythical landscape of the previous operas to a world more akin to our own, as Siegfried journeys down the Rhine to the deceitful world of the Gibichungs. The impending fall of the gods is reflected in the blackened, apocalyptic landscape of Act III, in which the ageing and lonely Rhinedaughters plead for the return of their gold in sensual melodies. The stirring music of Siegfried’s funeral march and Brünnhilde’s epic immolation scene bring the opera to a dramatic conclusion. By its end, the world order will have been restored – but at a devastating cost.
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.
5 December 2014
Curses, seduction and murder – why are operatic parties always doomed to end in tears?
19 November 2014
Though always a controversial figure, this German composer revolutionized music.
24 June 2014
Opera has always flirted with catastrophic events. We look at how opera composers and directors have faced the apocalypse.
Fire on all sides! Descend on a cloud! Singing fish-children!: Opera’s most challenging stage directions12 February 2014
Opera has long pushed the boundaries of what's possible on stage.
24 September 2012
As the curtain goes up on Keith Warner's production, a guide to Wagner's epic operatic cycle.
Götterdämmerung (About this sound pronunciation ; Twilight of the Gods), WWV 86D, is the last in Richard Wagner's cycle of four operas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or The Ring for short). It received its premiere at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 17 August 1876, as part of the first complete performance of the Ring. The title is a translation into German of the Old Norse phrase Ragnarök, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war among various beings and gods that ultimately results in the burning, immersion in water, and renewal of the world. However, as with the rest of the Ring, Wagner's account diverges significantly from his Old Norse sources.