web banner for the Ring Cycle display

The Ring Cycle

On display until 7 January 2024


Recommended for all ages

Queensland Museum, Mezzanine Level


Free, no bookings required

The Ring Cycle

by Richard Wagner

Composed by Richard Wagner between 1848 and 1874, the Ring Cycle comprises four consecutive operas based on Norse and German mythology: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung.

An allegory of human consciousness, the Ring Cycle is cosmic in its reach. Though the story ranges across a divine plane to mystic mountains, rainbow bridges and wild forests populated by gods, giants, dwarfs, river-maidens and Valkyries, the problems with which they wrestle are those of the earthly world.

In December 2023, Opera Australia presents the Ring Cycle at Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre under the lead of visionary director Chen Shi-Zheng.

Leitmotif / Motif

Leitmotif, derived from the German words leit (leading) and motif (motive), is an operatic term that refers to a recurring melody associated with a particular character or theme. Wagner was one of the earliest and most renowned composers to use the concept of leitmotif, and many of the characters in the Ring Cycle have their own tune.

The Ring Cycle is also rich in motifs – recurring thematic elements alive with symbolism and meaning.

To coincide with Opera Australia’s production of the Ring Cycle directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, Queensland Museum staff chose objects from the collection inspired by some of the leitmotifs and motifs in Wagner’s iconic opera.


More Information

Accessibility: A large print guide of this display is available online.

Please advise Queensland Museum on (07) 3153 4403 if you require wheelchair seating or any assistance.

Learn more

Please be aware of major construction of public works being undertaken in the area.

View traffic updates

Stay in the loop!

Get the latest exhibition, events and programming activities at Queensland Museum every month, with our free eNews straight to your inbox!