Got plans for the weekend? I have a suggestion: binge watch a tale of greed, forbidden love, death, revenge, and apocalypse. And the soundtrack is incredible!
It is available worldwide at this link. There are English subtitles. Each of the four operas is presented separately, in case you don’t have a spare 15 hours straight to watch the entire cycle. Here’s where you can find out more about each of the four operas in the cycle and the performers. Here is the trailer for Siegfried.
In the reference section, you can find some fine websites that provide an introduction to the Ring before you embark on this epic journey. Here is the Southbank Centre’s animated guide to the Ring. And I particularly like this 2 1/2-minute video in which the Sydney Symphony Orchestra tells the story of the Ring.
I hope you will enjoy the Ring!
Postscript–because someone is bound to ask. For those of you (in particular, Americans of a certain age) who can’t hear Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries without thinking “Kill the wabbit,” here’s a link to the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” In addition to using Ride of the Valkyries, the cartoon borrows from Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser. You can read about it here.
“Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Where to Start” http://www.classicfm.com/composers/wagner/guides/wagner-ring-cycle-where-start/
This website from the University of Michigan will help you learn more about the symbolism used in the Ring cycle http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/Teutonic_Mythology/ringsum.html
Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s guide to the Ring https://youtu.be/AgzZ_nLOJJE
Southbank Centre’s animated guide to the Ring https://youtu.be/ykQ7jc09OAk
Image attribution: Stick figure singing opera on a television with a viking helmet as an antenna, C. Gallant, 2016.