Richard Wagner's monumental opera cycle ‹The Ring of the Nibelung› remains one of the most important and controversial works in music history: Sixteen hours spread across four evenings – composed over more than a quarter of a century – recount the downfall of gods, the fateful demise of the hero and the utopia of love. ‹The Ring› is returning to Theater Basel after more than 40 years. In the autumns of 2023 and 2024, the four premieres of ‹Das Rheingold›, ‹Die Walküre›, ‹Siegfried› and ‹Götterdämmerung› will be accompanied by yet more premieres, talks, late-night formats and events that individually focus and reflect upon the diverse thematic complexes of ‹The Ring›, culminating in a festival lasting several weeks. Within this sphere of activity, parts of Theater Basel that audiences rarely get to experience shall become the stage. Contrary to Wagner's conception of a total work of art, we intend to create a collective work of art that critically engages with the original version. The result is a polyphonic narrative that brings together and combines various artistic voices and practices.
Benedikt von Peter's new production focuses on the guilt entanglements of Wotan's patriarchal rule and their dire consequences for subsequent generations. Through the eyes of Brünnhilde, the audience perceives the story as a fragmented trace of memory – a demythologisation resembling the gathering of evidence. Leading British conductor Jonathan Nott directs Sinfonieorchester Basel in a pit constructed especially for Theater Basel, thereby addressing and creatively re-interpreting Wagner's idea of the «invisible orchestra». An international ‹Ring› ensemble featuring many interesting role debuts and spirited singers is coming together exclusively for this project lasting more than 30 months.
A lust for power and deceit are the basis for Wagner's four-part music drama: When the giants demand payment for their work constructing the gods' newly completed castle, Valhalla, Wotan finds himself in trouble. The cunning Loge offers to help: He relates how the hunchbacked dwarf Alberich once came into possession of the Rhinegold, which – when forged into a ring – promises limitless power and dominion. For this, Alberich forswears the power of love forever. Wotan and Loge resolve to wrest the gold and the ring from Alberich by force to pay the giants.
The gods are outraged at the adulterous and incestuous love of the twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. In a quarrel with his wife, Fricka, Wotan promises to tell his favourite daughter Brünnhilde, a Valkyrie, that she must let Siegmund die in combat. However, Brünnhilde decides to disobey her father's orders, thus destroying their relationship. Wotan condemns Brünnhilde for her betrayal and sentences her to be left asleep surrounded by a ring of fire, through which only the bravest of men would step to awaken her.
Many years have passed. Siegfried, the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, grows up deep in the forest. The young hero knows nothing of his origins and the events surrounding Wotan and Brünnhilde. Nevertheless – or rather because of this – he temporarily succeeds in regaining the ring by slaying Fafner and freeing Brünnhilde from the ring of magic fire that surrounds her.
Siegfried leaves Brünnhilde and arrives at Gibichungs' Hall. Here he meets Gunther, Gutrune and Hagen, with whom he forms an alliance. What Siegfried does not realise though: Hagen is Alberich's son, who is plotting to murder Siegfried in order to regain the ring. Brünnhilde also becomes a pawn in this intrigue and an accomplice in the plans for murder. The end of Wotan's reign as god marks a possible new beginning.
Musical director: Jonathan Nott, Staging: Benedikt von Peter, Co-staging: Caterina Cianfarini, Set design: Natascha von Steiger, Costumes: Katrin Lea Tag
- Wotan – Nathan Berg
- Loge – Michael Laurenz
- Fricka – Solenn’ Lavanant Linke
- Alberich – Andrew Murphy
- Mime – Karl Heinz Brandt
- Erda – Hanna Schwarz
- Siegmund – Ric Furman
- Sieglinde – Sally Matthews
- Brünnhilde – Trine Møller
- Waltraute – Jasmin Etezadzadeh
- Siegfried – Rolf Romei
- Gunther – Günter Papendell
- Gutrune – Heather Engebretson
- Hagen – Patrick Zielke
A dance performance project
A playful performance, somewhere between dance, discourse and pop culture, of the transcultural collective led by Monika Gintersdorfer and Knut Klassen takes Wagner's monumental work and does something completely different with it. Together with performers from Côte d'Ivoire, they scrutinise the cycle and its various themes of magic, myth, domination and hero worship and analyse them from a post-colonial perspective.
Concept and staging: Gintersdorfer/Klassen
Hans-Werner Kroesinger/Regine Dura:
A documentary theatre
Wagner's ‹Ring› paints a comprehensive picture of a society based on complex structures of power and economic interests. Hans-Werner Krösinger and Regine Dura utilise these intricacies as the foundations for examining Basel's urban and industrial history. In the depths of the scenery storage facility, the two directors, who are leading representatives of contemporary documentary theatre, develop a theatrical research project.
Concept and staging: Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Regine Dura
Matthew Herbert/Imogen Knight:
A choir composition for the Theaterplatz
As a symbol of exploited nature, the Rhine plays a key role in the ‹Ring›. As a musical-performative introduction to the cycle, the electronic composer Matthew Herbert has decided to bring the sound and the spirit of the Rhine to Theaterplatz – together with the choir and the extra choir of Theater Basel and amateur choirs from around the local region.
Concept and staging: Matthew Herbert, Imogen Knight
19:00 – 21:35
|Wed 13.09.2023||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Sat 16.09.2023||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
19:00 – 21:35
19:00 – 21:35
|So 24.09.2023||Die Walküre||17:00 – 21:30|
19:00 – 21:35
|Sat 30.09.2023||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Di 03.10.2023||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
19:00 – 21:35
|Sat 07.10.2023||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Sat 08.06.2024||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Sat 09.06.2024||Die Walküre||17:00 – 21:30|
|Sat 17.06.2024||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Sa 18.06.2024||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Sa 22.06.2024||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Sa 23.06.2024||Die Walküre||17:00 – 21:30|
|Sa 28.09.2024||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|So 06.10.2024||Götterdämmerung||17:00 – 22:05|
|Di 08.10.2024||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|Do 10.10.2024||Götterdämmerung||18:00 – 23:05|
|So 13.10.2024||Siegfried||17:00 – 22:10|
|Di 15.10.2024||Götterdämmerung||18:00 – 23:05|
|Fr 18.10.2024||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|So 20.10.2024||Götterdämmerung||17:00 – 22:05|
|Do 24.10.2024||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|Sa 26.10.2024||Götterdämmerung||18:00 – 23:05|
|Di 20.05.2025||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Mi 21.05.2025||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Fr 23.05.2025||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|So 25.05.2025||Götterdämmerung||17:00 – 22:05|
|Mi 04.06.2025||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Do 05.06.2025||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Sa 07.06.2025||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|Mo 09.06.2025||Götterdämmerung||17:00 – 22:05|
|Mo 16.06.2025||Das Rheingold||19:00 – 21:35|
|Mi 18.06.2025||Die Walküre||18:00 – 22:30|
|Fr 20.06.2025||Siegfried||18:00 – 23:10|
|So 22.06.2025||Götterdämmerung||17:00 – 22:05|
Book your tickets for the four ‹Ring› operas today. Book before 14 May 2023 and secure a 20% early bird discount on all four Wagner operas – either with a flexible choice of dates through the Ring selective subscription or as part of our spring 2025 cycles. Note that parties of 31 or more receive a group discount of 30% when booking tickets.*
Ring selective subscription Cycles
+41 (0)61 295 11 33
*First, you only receive your booking confirmation. You will be invoiced for your tickets in june 2022. Tickets for the Ring performances and all commentaries go on sale to the general public on 1 July 2023.