Der Ring des Nibelungen

Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle staged by various directors from 2002 through 2003 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. This box set of 4 Blu-ray discs contains the whole Ring cycle. Lothar Zagrosek conducts the Staatsorchester Stuttgart for all 4 productions. Released 2014, the discs have 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound.

1. Das Rheingold. Produced 2002. Stage direction by Joachim Schloemer. Stars Wolfgang Probst (Wotan), Motti Kastón (Donner), Bernhard Schneider (Froh), Robert Künzli (Loge), Esa Ruuttunen (Alberich), Eberhard Francesco Lorenz (Mime), Roland Bracht (Fasolt), Phillip Ens (Fafner), Michaela Schuster (Fricka), Helga Rós Indridadóttir (Freia), Mette Ejsing (Erda), Catriona Smith (Woglinde), Maria Theresa Ullrich (Wellgunde), and Margarete Joswig (Flosshilde).

2. Die Walküre. Produced 2003. Stage direction by Chritoph Nel. Stars Robert Gambill (Siegmund), Attila Jun (Hunding), Jan-Hendrik Rootering (Wotan), Angela Denoke (Sieglinde), Renate Behle (Brünnhilde), Tichina Vaughn (Fricka), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Gerhilde), Wiebke Göetjes (Ortlinde), Stella Kleindienst (Waltraute), Helene Ranada (Schwertleite), Magdalena Schäfer (Helmwige), Nidia Palacios (Siegrune), Maria Theresa Ullrich (Grimgerde), and Margit Diefenthal (Rossweisse).

3. Siegfried. Produced 2003. Stage direction and dramaturgy by Jossi Wieler & Sergio Morabito. Stars Jon Fredric West (Siegfried), Heinz Göhrig (Mime), Wolfgang Schöne (Der Wanderer), Björn Waag (Alberich), Attila Jun (Fafner), Helene Ranada (Erda), Lisa Gasteen (Brünnhilde), and Gabriela Herrera (Der Waldvogel).

4. Götterdämmerung. Produced 2003. Stage direction by Peter Konwitschny. Stars Albert Bonnema (Siegfried), Luana DeVol (Brünnhilde), Roland Bracht (Hagen), Hernan Iturralde (Gunther), Franz-Josef Kapellmann (Alberich), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Gutrune), Tichina Vaugh (Waltraute), Janet Collins (First Norn, Flosshilde), Lani Poulson (Second Norn), Sue Patchell (Third Norn), Helga Rós Indridadóttir (Woglinde), and Sarah Castle (Wellgunde).

Grade: Help!

This came out first in DVD in 2004 and then again in DVD in 2010 with different artwork. It's been controversial because, among other things, the 4 stage directors had different designs and concepts. Is the lack of continuity a plus or minus? Kaspar Holten recommends this on www.wagneropera.net stating it's,"A Ring that opens eyes, is incoherent, twisted, strange and irritating, but at the same time entertaining and makes you see the Ring in totally new ways." 

If you dig around, I think you can find these operas cheap on used DVDs. Try that first. If you like the DVDs, then spring for the Blu-ray box. If the operas benefit from Blu-ray treatment, we would be happy to hear about this from you.

If you have this box set, please help us with a comment that can be a mini-review.