When to see it
These events are part of the Autumn 2018 season.
Wotan craves the ring, but, bound by his own laws, he can’t retrieve it himself. With a mortal woman he has twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde. He hopes Siegmund will become the free agent he needs to take the ring. Separated at birth, the twins meet as adults and fall in love.
Wotan’s wife Fricka points out that Siegmund can never be independent while he enjoys Wotan’s protection. Wotan bitterly concedes, and Siegmund dies in battle – but the Valkyrie Brünnhilde rescues the pregnant Sieglinde. In punishment for her defiance, Wotan incarcerates Brünnhilde on a rock, surrounded by a ring of fire.
Die Walküre is the second work and ‘first evening’ of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, following Das Rheingold. It has become the most performed opera of the cycle, loved and admired for its nuanced and intelligent exploration of complex family entanglements, expressed through music of astonishing power – perhaps nowhere more so than in the glorious music for the incestuous lovers Siegmund and Sieglinde.
Wotan’s voyage of self-discovery and ultimate resignation are at the heart of Keith Warner’s production, created for The Royal Opera in 2005. His great Act II monologue is set in a disastrous ruin of the Valhalla we saw in Das Rheingold – a striking representation of Wotan’s own inner decline and the gods’ incipient twilight. Visual motifs reflect the structure of Wagner’s score, which shows the composer at his most radical and most lyrical.
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