Part 4 of the Ring cycle begins with the three Norns reviewing the thread of destiny and recalling Alberich’s curse on the ring. Still smitten, Siegfried gives the ring to Brünnhilde as a token of his love before embarking on further heroic quests. He is soon duped by King Gunther and his half-brother Hagen (son of Alberich) into forgetting his love for Brünnhilde and promising her to Gunther in exchange for his sister’s hand in marriage. A shape-shifting Siegfried visits Brünnhilde, forcibly takes the ring, and brings her down from the ledge to a contentious wedding feast where accusations, miscommunications, and traitorous plotting ensue. Just as Hagen’s murderous plan is carried out, Siegfried recalls his true love for Brünnhilde, now fully aware of the truth also. She takes the ring from his finger, orders the construction of a grand funeral pyre, and walks into the flames to be reunited with him in death. The river overflows, the Rhine daughters recover the ring, Valhalla burns, and the kingdom of the gods is destroyed. Brünnhilde’s sacrifice has cleansed the ring and restored the natural order.
In German with English Captions
Approximate Running Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes, with 2 intermissions | at McCaw Hall
Ring Cycle Dates
Cycle I: August 4, 5, 7, & 9
Cycle II: August 12, 13, 15 & 17
Cycle III: August 20, 21, 23 & 25
Read the saga of Wagner’s gods and goddesses—the ring that tears them apart, the Valkyrie who dares to disobey, the boy who knows no fear, and the downfall of the gods.
Meet the artists who will bring Wagner’s epic to life, including Seattle Ring veterans Greer Grimsley, Stephanie Blythe, and director Stephen Wadsworth, as well as Alwyn Mellor and Stefan Vinke in their company Ring debuts.
See images of the 2009 Ring, featuring both newcomers and familiar faces, plus the beautifully naturalistic sets of Thomas Lynch.
Watch a video preview from the 2009 Seattle Opera production of Götterdämmerung. Footage includes many of the favorite scenes from this opera.