AZOpera Learn About Opera
Home | 1999/2000 Season | Learn | Look Backstage | Purchase | Get Involved | Index | Updates

Opera Perspectives Lectures
Opera Synopses
Composer Bios
Opera Etiquette
Pronunciation Guide
Opera Terminology
Opera or Not?
Sound Clips
Other Opera Sites

Opera Look-In

Das Rheingold
Die Walküre
Siegfried
Götterdämmerung

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Das Rheingold

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

The crucible set for the Gods is heated when the forge begins to form the powerful ring in the underworld of Nibelheim. Wotan bargains with the Giants to build the glory of Valhalla and risks the Godsí immortality.

To appease the Giants and ensure eternal youth, Wotan steals the Rhinegold and the ring from the evil dwarf, Alberich and gives it to the Giants. In fury, Alberich bitterly spits forth the ring's unforgiving curse.

More detailed synopsis of
Das Rheingold

Die WalkÜre

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

In the face of the battle, Siegmund, fathered by Wotan, discovers that Sieglinde is his twin sister. Yet, they join as man and wife.

Wotan knows he must kill Siegmund for the violation of the laws of matrimony. But unable to bear the agony of the deed, he sends the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, in his place.

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

Brünnhilde takes mercy on the two lovers. In anguish, Wotan causes Siegmund's death by shattering his sword in battle. Brünnhilde is made mortal as punishment for betraying Wotan, and he surrounds her with a wall of flame that can only be broken by a hero. A wall of flame. A portent of the fall of the Gods.

Siegfried

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

Siegfried, the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, reforges Nothung, his father's shattered sword and kills the dragon guarding the ring. The ring becomes his, as does the curse. This young man of adventure discovers the fire containing the sleeping Brünnhilde. He awakens her to love, and to loveís partner: Destiny.

GÖtterdÄmmerung

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

Answering the call to adventure, Siegfried plunges into a world of false friends, deceit, betrayal and death. An herb potion and deception by Hagen, the evil dwarf's son, lead Siegfried to force Brünnhilde into marrying another man.

Hagen ends Siegfried's ring-cursed life with a spear in the back. Siegfried's funeral pyre and Brünnhilde's immolation ignite the heavens and earth. The Gods' fate is sealed in the final conflagration and the world awaits its rebirth.

[Der Ring des Nibelungen production shot]

[Top of the page]

Das Rheingold (more detailed synopsis)
Richard Wagner (Bio)
Other Wagner Sites

Full
Pronunciation
Guide

Copyright © 1996 - 1999, Arizona Opera & Evermore Enterprises, All Rights Reserved
- Contact@AZOpera.com -