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Scene 1:
In the dark the norns are weaving world’s destiny. The norns are daughters of Erda. They recount of the World-ash to which the web had been tied, before the World-ash withered. Wotan broke of a branch of the World-ash to cut from it, his spear of law.

Recently, Wotan commanded his heroes to fell the World-ash and to pile up its wood around his citadel, Walhall. The reign of the gods will end in fire.
The Norns
The Norns.
  Now Wotan waits in abdication, until the Ring is returned to the Rhinedaughters. The web of the norns breaks, no longer do they weave world’s past, present and future. They do not understand this new world order and return to mother Erda.

Scene 2:

Siegfried and Brünnhilde come out as a glorious day dawns. Siegfried gives the Ring to Brünnhilde as token of his love, in exchange Brünnhilde offers her horse Grane. They embrace in a loving farewell, and Siegfried journeys into the world, along the river Rhine (Siegfried's Rheinfahrt).

Act 1

Scene 1:

The hall of the Gibichungs, on the bank of the river Rhine. Gunther, son of Gibich sits here together with his sister Gutrune and his halfbrother Hagen. Hagen is the son of Alberich. Grimhilde is their mother. Hagen says, Gunther and Gutrune need to marry to increase power and glory of the House of Gibich, and he knows the right spouse for both of them. Hagen tells about Brünnhilde and how only Siegfried is destined to win her. This of course frustrates Gunther; why tell him about an unattainable wife? Gutrune reproaches Hagen, how can she compete for Siegfried with a woman like Brünnhilde? Hagen however has a secret potion, that will make Siegfried fall in love with Gutrune and forget all about Brünnhilde. To marry Gutrune, Siegfried has to deliver Brünnhilde to Gunther. They all agree, and await Siegried’s arrival.

Scene 2:
Siegfried arrives and tells that he slayed the dragon and now possesses both Ring and Tarnhelm. Hagen explains Siegfried the purpose of the Tarnhelm. But where is the Ring? Hagen is very disappointed to hear Brünnhilde now wears it. Gutrune offers Siegfried a drink and before he drinks, Siegfried toasts his beloved Brünnhilde. After he finishes his drink, he is transformed and declares Gutrune his love. He wants to marry Gutrune, but learns he must deliver Brünnhilde to Gunther, in exchange for Gutrune’s hand. Using the Tarnhelm Siegfried is able to adopt the looks of Gunther, so Brünnhilde will be deceived in thinking she is taken along by Gunther.  
The Ring
The Ring.
  Siegfried and Gunther swear an oath of bloodbrotherhood and set off to the rock of Brünnhilde. In anticipation Hagen guards the hall of the Gibichungs. The Ring, he so desperately covets will soon be his.

Scene 3:

Brünnhilde’s rock. Brünnhilde is visited by her sister Waltraute. She tells Brünnhilde of Walhall and Wotan. How he brought down the World-ash tree and let its wood be piled up around the citadel of the gods. Now he just sits on his thrown, the other gods and his heroes gathered around him in silence, waiting for his end. In his hands he holds the broken pieces of his spear. If only Brünnhilde would give back the Ring to the Rhinedaugters, Wotan and the world would be redeemed. Brünnhilde refuses, because to her the Ring is a token of Siegfried’s love. Walhall means nothing to her anymore. Waltraute leaves in dismay.

Brünnhilde hears Siegfried's horn, but in horror she sees it is not Siegfried who strides through the flames. Siegfried (in the image of Gunther) takes the Ring by force, Brünnhilde breaks down in grief. Siegfried claims the cave as a bridal chamber and places his sword between them as keeper of her virginity.

Act 2

Scene 1: The bank of the river Rhine, hall of the Gibichungs. In front of the hall Hagen is asleep, moonlight lights the scene. Alberich (father of Hagen) visits his dream and urges him to get the Ring. Hagen reassures Alberich, he has not forgotten about the Ring.

Scene 2: Siegfried returns and recounts what has happened to Gutrune and Hagen.

Scene 3: Hagen blows his horn and calls all vassals of Gibichs’ Kingdom to celebrate the coming wedding of Gunther.

Scene 4: Gunther arrives with in his wake a grieving Brünnhilde. Brünnhilde is shocked when she sees Siegfried and learns that he will marry Gutrune. When Brünnhilde sees the Ring on Siegfried’s finger, she realises she has been betrayed. Not Gunther but Siegfried took the Ring by force. On Hagen’s spear Siegfried swears an oath of truth. Brünnhilde reacts furiously, and swears that Siegfried is engaged to her. It is clear that one of them has committed perjury. To divert everybody’s attention Siegfried invites the vassals to the wedding feast. Brünnhilde, Gunther and Hagen remain behind.

Scene 5:
Hagen offers Brünnhilde to revenge Siegfried’s treason with his spear. Brünnhilde replies that in battle Siegfried is invincible, but has a vulnerable spot on his back. Brünnhilde used the magic of her rune lore to protect Siegfried, but spared his back, for she knew he would never turn his back on an enemy in battle. Hagen immediately responds that he will strike Siegfried in his back to kill him, tomorrow when they go hunting. Gunther is unwilling to participate in this assassination plan, after all Siegfried is his bloodbrother. In the end Hagen wins him over by saying Siegfried's death will restore Gunther's honour, and most important, Hagen promises him the Ring. All three agree: Siegfried will die.  
Black Sunset
Siegfried will die!
  Act 3

Scene 1: A rugged forest at the bank of the river Rhine. Siegfried has gone astray and meets with the Rhinedaughters. They request from Siegfried his Ring, in exchange for game. Siegfried doesn’t want to relinquish the Ring that easy and refuses. The Rhinedaughters call him miserly. The insult prompts Siegfried to offer the Ring, to prove himself a liberal man. Before the Rhinedaughters accept the Ring, they tell him that by giving them the Ring he saves himself from death. Siegfried takes their statement as a threat and changes his mind again. He is not afraid to loose his life and keeps the Ring.

Scene 2: The hunting-party arrives and Hagen decide they will have a rest. Hagen asks Siegfried to tell them stories from his youth. Hagen offers him a drink, so Siegfried will gradually recover his memory. Siegfried tells about Mime who has raised him, and about his fight with the dragon. Then he tells of Brünnhilde, how he kissed her awake and held her in his arms. It is obvious, he has committed perjury on the spear of Hagen. Wotan's raven fly off, to inform Wotan. As Siegfried’s attention is caught by the raven, Hagen thrusts his spear in the vulnerable back of the unsuspecting Siegfried. Hagen claims he revenged Siegfried’s perjury. The dying Siegfried sends a last delirious greeting to Brünnhilde and dies.

Scene 3: The hall of the Gibichungs at the bank of the river Rhine. It is night, Gutrune waits with dark premonitions for the return of the hunting-party. As Hagen arrives, he tells Gutrune, Siegfried has been killed by a wild boar. Gutrune isn’t that naive and accuses Gunther of murdering Siegfried. Gunther says Hagen is the one, who killed Siegried. Hagen defiantly admits and claims Siegfried’s Ring. Gunther says the Ring belongs to him, and wants to stop Hagen, who kills him on the spot. Hagen progresses to Siegfried’s dead body and stretches out his hand to take the Ring, when suddenly Siegfried menacingly raises his hand. Terror stricken, Hagen steps back.

Brünnhilde strides dignified to the dead Siegfried, and orders the vassals to build a large funeral pyre next to the Rhine, to burn Siegfried in a worthy manner. Last night Brünnhilde spoke with the Rhinedaughters, she will return the Ring to them, and free the world of its curse.
She sends up a prayer to Wotan, and tells him the end is near. Soon he may rest in peace ('Ruhe, ruhe, du Gott!'). Brünnhilde takes the Ring and torches the funeral pyre. She mounts Grane and together they jump into the blazing fire. The fire erupts and sets Walhall aflame, reddening the sky. The Rhine steps outside its banks, and from the ashes the Rhinedaughters obtain their long lost gold. Hagen desperately tries to get hold of the Ring, but is pulled under by the Rhinedaughters. The Rhinedaughters swim away jubilant, celebrating the return of the Rhinegold. A world has perished and a new world announces itself.  

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