Richard Wagner’s vast Ring cycle, comprising four full-length operas, is arguably the most extraordinary achievement in the history of opera. The libretto to the work is more than a literary work of art; its intricate system of metric patterns, imaginative metaphors, ample use of alliteration and its singability combine to create something unique - the music is in the text. This series provides not only a new translation of the libretto but also a guide through the labyrinth of the Ring, clarifying its literary and musical idiom and significance. The fundamental element of Wagner’s music is the leitmotif, a short theme or motif associated with a particular person, object, event or idea. Each opera presents a panoply of these ‘musical labels’, which act as a unifying device, both dramatically and musically.