As Opera Australia prepares to unveil its ‘Digital Ring ’ in Brisbane, Jansson J. Antmann explores the mystique of Wagner’s magnum opus with directors Chen Shi-Zheng, Sir David Pountney and Neil Armfield, as well as soprano Lise Lindstrom who returns as Brünnhilde.

Anita Yavich’s costume designs
Anita Yavich’s costume designs for the gods in Opera Australia’s new Ring Cycle. Image courtesy of Anita Yavich and Opera Australia.

Kinder, schafft Neues! (Children, create something new!)” Richard Wagner famously wrote in his 1852 call for innovation and creative risk. Nearly a quarter of a century later, he led the charge with the first production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the inaugural Bayreuth Festival in 1876.

Today, the 16-hour epic attracts unparalleled public interest, and even controversy, as each new director pushes the envelope to continue...