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BBC Proms Wagner Illustration

BBC Proms Wagner Illustration

In the bicentenary of Richard Wagner’s birth, the 2013 BBC Proms performed the complete cycle of The Ring. With mythical and psychological forces behind this epic performance the leading image for the BBC Proms Guide article “All Around The Ring” needed to make an impact and additionally needed to work with the Royal Albert Hall exhibition.

The imagery brief was to collage a supernatural landscape, which represented the Wagner myth; the legends, romanticism, super naturalism and richness of the Ring. Additionally it needed to portray a ring-like motif but not follow it religiously. The result is a custom illustration showing four critical characters breaking from a sphere of energy. The gold ring is the centerpiece that connects them and is made from images of reeds and tree branches, bent and highlighted to emphasise a fiery, glowing energy, almost as if it is spinning out of control. This particularly innovative depiction tells the story of the Ring with Wotan (Odin) in the top left grasping a spear; Göttterdämmerung’s horse ‘Grane’ from 'Die Walküre' on which Brünnhilde immolates herself by riding it into Siegfried’s funeral pyre in the top right; Alberich, the King of the race of Nibelungen in the bottom right; and one of The Rhine maidens from Göttterdämmerung stretching out to warn Siegfried about the curse attached to the Ring.

The complete image has been created on various layers in Adobe Photoshop and features merged illustrations from Lebrecht Music & Arts and iStockphoto.

BBC Proms Wagner Editorial Illustration by Christie Brewster
BBC Proms Wagner Editorial Illustration (Wotan) by Christie Brewster
BBC Proms Wagner Editorial Illustration within the Proms Guide by Christie Brewster