Fancy watching a full Ring for free, anywhere in the world?

The BBC is hosting Opera North’s 2016 production of the Wagner epic.

Click here.

And kiss the next 12 hours goodbye.

Or watch the one-minute version below.

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  • Biggest cut in the history of opera. Surely lots of people would prefer such versions of Wagner operas. Rather unsatisfactory is, however, that it begins in C flat major but ends in D flat major without a proper cadence.

  • If this is like most BBC iPlayer video content, the Ring will probably not be deliverable to places outside the UK. There are ways around this limitation involving the use of a VPN (virtual private network). There are also ways to directly record the videos while they are still in encoded form, saving computer disk space (though the files are still very large). This is all probably illegal, which is why I’m not giving details. But there are enough clues here so that SD readers can ask their neighbor’s hacker kid to help.

    • I just checked the site and the 4 operas are streaming. I am in Canada.
      Looking forward to a great Wagnerian weekend…..hoto yo oooo

      • I’ve just tried accessing the recordings via the link in this article and indeed the videos are accessible without a VPN in NYC. Watching them through the official BBC iPlayer does require a VPN for non-UK viewers. The video bit rate, however is about halved for the international feed (approx. 1.604 Mbps vs 2.812 Mbps via iPlayer) leading to noticeably poorer video quality. The audio quality is the same (96 kbps AAC).

        PS: Viewers should note that this Ring would in some circles be called a semi-staged production. The singers are in Chereau-derived atttire and the scenery is delivered by projections and video effects. Even the orchestra is beautiful, being darkly visible during the entire proceedings.

        • Seen live this was a truly awesome cycle in musical and architectural and dramatic terms, but the way it’s been reimagined for television gives it a whole additional dimension – it’s really compelling listening and viewing from first bar to last.

  • Actual performances were with singers on front of stage and three large video screens behind orchestra (you see them at start and close). Don’t think there were any smoke effects.

    In the broadcast, the video from the screens is sometimes superimposed over the singers. I find this pretty effective and like the way they’ve kept the cast in close-up rather than pulling cameras in and out (like Proms relays).

    Performances are better than I had expected though I find some of the passion and energy a little missing in the conducting…

  • I was surprised and delighted that the video is available in Asia. The sound quality is extremely fine and well balanced. I have no problem at all with the semi-staging and the use of video screens. It seems very similar to the opera productions Seiji Ozawa used to perform with the BSO in Symphony Hall.

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