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The Story

Siegfried, the child of Siegmund and Sieglinde, has been raised by Alberich’s brother Mime. Mime plans to use Siegfried to take back the ring from Fafner. But, as he grows up, Siegfried rebels against his dubious guardian.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Siegfried is the ‘second evening’ and third opera in Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wagner broke off composition at the end of Act II of Siegfried to write Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, returning to Siegfried seven years later. Elements of these two operas feed into Siegfried: it features the Ring cycle’s most light-hearted music, in its depiction of the ebullient young Siegfried, and also its most ecstatic love duet, as Brünnhilde and Siegfried discover each other. Added to these is a wondrous celebration of the natural world.

Keith Warner’s 2005 production for The Royal Opera securely positions Siegfried within the cycle’s over-arching narrative of the decline of the gods. Siegfried and Mime’s forge is set against a crashed aeroplane, evocation of Wotan’s failed ambitions. As with the other operas of the cycle, recurring images that suggest the DNA helix spiral through Siegfried – representatives of an ongoing life force whose strength will outlast the gods’.

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On Wikipedia

Jean de Reszke as Siegfried

Siegfried, WWV 86C, is the third of the four music dramas that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. It premiered at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 16 August 1876, as part of the first complete performance of The Ring cycle.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article Siegfried (opera), available under a Creative Commons license.