A strange man seeks shelter at the house of the warrior Hunding. The stranger tells Hundig’s wife Sieglinde that he does not know his name, but remembers that his sister was abducted and that he is being hunted. Sieglinde is attracted to the stranger and gives Hunding a sleeping potion to stop him from confronting the fugitive. Sieglinde explains that at their wedding feast, a mysterious one-eyed Wanderer plunged a sword into a tree in the centre of the room. She watches as the stranger pulls the sword free, confirming her suspicions that he must be Siegmund, her brother. It is revealed that
both Sieglinde and Siegmund were fathered by Wotan, who came to Earth disguised as the Wanderer.
Wotan’s daughter, the goddess Brünnhilde, pleads with Wotan to protect Siegmund, but Wotan’s wife Fricka demands justice for Hunding. Wotan is forced to sacrifice his mortal son Siegmund. As Hundig and Siegmund do battle, Wotan intervenes and breaks Siegmund’s sword with his spear. Hunding then kills him. Brünnhilde gathers the remains of the sword and takes flight with Sieglinde, who is pregnant with Siegmund’s child. Brünnhilde and Sieglinde arrive at the assembly of the Valkyrie, the goddess daughters of Wotan charged with gathering the souls of fallen heroes for the Valhalla army. The Valkyrie dare not defy Wotan and Sieglinde is forced to flee with the remains of the sword. Wotan punishes Brünnhilde for protecting Siegmund by trapping her on a mountain top, encircled in a magic flame.
A full synopsis and background information are available in the programme booklet.