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Sky Arts to broadcast Wagner’s Ring Cycle in full

Stephen Fry will present the coverage from Bayreuth. Photo: Simon James/Shutterstock
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Richard Wagner’s entire Ring Cycle is to be broadcast on Sky Arts from the Bayreuth Festival in Germany.

Sky has been granted exclusive access and each of the four operas in the cycle will be broadcast on Sky Arts over two consecutive nights. The broadcast will culminate with a live broadcast of Gotterdammerung, on July 31.

Viewers who want to see the entire work in sequence can watch the operas back to back from 4.15am on July 31, ending with the live transmission later that day. The opera cycle is 17.5 hours long.

For the broadcast, Wagner fan Stephen Fry will interview the cast and tour the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which Wagner conceived and built to showcase his works.

Fry said “I am so excited to be presenting a new production of the Ring Cycle this year from Bayreuth. It is always wonderful to welcome those for whom this extraordinary work has already exercised its fascination, but I most especially look forward to introducing this uniquely monumental and thrilling experience to a new audience of the curious, the open and the intrigued.”

Phil Edgar Jones, director of Sky Arts, added that the broadcast marked the first time in the history of the festival that the cycle had been shown it its entirety on television.

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