Live Cinema Season

Die Walküre

Recorded | Opera

Running time: The performance lasts about 4 hours 50 minutes, including two intervals. Timings vary depending on your territory; please enter your location below to find screenings.

Die Walküre

Antonio Pappano conducts a full performance of the second opera in Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Twitter

The story

During a storm, Sieglinde gives shelter to a wounded stranger. They find themselves drawn to each other. He is Siegmund, the twin from whom Sieglinde was separated in childhood. Unknown to them, their father is Wotan, the most powerful of the gods. Through Siegmund, Wotan hopes to retrieve a gold ring of ultimate power that he cannot take himself.

Brother and sister fall in love and flee, taking with them Nothung, a sword destined for a hero. As goddess of marriage, Wotan’s wife Fricka angrily demands Wotan must not protect his incestuous children to serve his ends. Wotan bitterly concedes. However, Wotan’s daughter Brünnhilde, a Valkyrie, takes it on herself to save Siegmund. Wotan stops her, and Siegmund is killed in battle, his sword shattered. Brünnhilde does rescue Sieglinde, who she knows is pregnant with Siegmund’s son, the hero Wotan requires. As punishment for defying him, Wotan incarcerates Brünnhilde in a deep sleep on a mountaintop, protected by magic fire.

Background

Die Walküre is the second work and ‘first evening’ of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, following Das Rheingold. It has become the most performed opera of the cycle, loved and admired for its nuanced and intelligent exploration of complex family entanglements, expressed through music of astonishing power – perhaps nowhere more so than in the glorious music for the incestuous lovers Siegmund and Sieglinde.
Wotan’s voyage of self-discovery and ultimate resignation are at the heart of Keith Warner’s production, created for The Royal Opera in 2005. Wotan’s great Act II monologue is set in the abandoned former home of the gods, seen in Das Rheingold, whose evident disorder and damage present a striking representation of Wotan’s own inner decline and the gods’ incipient twilight. Recurring objects and visual motifs reflect the use of musical themes within Wagner’s score, which shows the composer at his most radical and most lyrical.

Credits

Music

Richard Wagner

Libretto

Richard Wagner

Director

Keith Warner

Set designer

Stefanos Lazaridis

Costume designer

Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Lighting designer

Wolfgang Göbbel

Original movement director

Claire Glaskin

Video designers

Mic Pool and Dick Straker

Associate set designer

Matthew Deely

Performers

Conductor
Antonio Pappano
Siegmund
Stuart Skelton
Sieglinde
Emily Magee
Wotan
John Lundgren
Brünnhilde
Nina Stemme
Fricka
Sarah Connolly
Hunding
Ain Anger
Gerhilde
Alwyn Mellor
Ortlinde
Lise Davidsen
Waltraute
Kai Rüütel
Schwertleite
Claudia Huckle
Helmwige
Maida Hundeling
Siegrune
Catherine Carby
Grimgerde
Monika-Evelin Liiv
Rossweisse
Emma Carrington
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the Die Walküre production page.