Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), BBC Proms 2013 are performing Wagner’s most revolutionary work: Der Ring des Nibelungen, otherwise known as the Ring Cycle, comprising four operas and nearly 16 hours of music.
The four operas; Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, are all linked together by the same story focusing on the theft of a magic ring that grants domination over the world from the dwarf, Alberich, by Wotan, King of the Gods, and the quest for its return through three generations of protagonists.
Wagner took 26 years to complete the operas from 1848 to 1874. The Ring Cycle is a work of extraordinary scale intended to be performed over four nights. The first and shortest opera, Das Rheingold, lasts two and a half hours, while the final and longest, Götterdämmerung, takes up to five hours and that’s not including intervals.
Year round, and at your own pace, listen to CDs, watch DVDs of the operas, and read about Wagner’s great works at the Central Music Library. Here’s a selection of what’s available http://prism.talis.com/edinburgh/lists/18d7597d-533f-52aa-bdbd-23750f8710ce