Academic journal article Notes

Siegfried (from der Ring Des Nibelungen)

Academic journal article Notes

Siegfried (from der Ring Des Nibelungen)

Article excerpt

Richard Wagner. Siegfried (from Der Ring des Nibelungen). DVD. Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona / Bertrand de Billy. Recorded live in June 2004. With John Treleaven, Graham Clark, Falk Struckmann, Gunter von Kannen, Eric Halfvarson, Andrea Bonig, Deborah Polanski, and Cristina Obregon. Waldron, Heathfield, East Sussex: Opus Arte, 2005. OA 0912 D. $44.99.

Very few major opera houses or companies are able to manage a full production of The Ring of the Nibelungen by Wagner. It requires at least three days to perform all four operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung), nearly fifteen hours of music and thirty-four characters, as well as numerous staging and costume hands.

The opera Siegfried fits into the middle of the three days, between Rheingold and Walküre on the first day and Götterdämmerung on the third day. This review is on Siegfried only, performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in June 2004. This particular Ring cycle was staged by Harry Kupfer, a disciple of Komische Oper Berlin director Walter Felsenstein. Kupfer produced the Bayreuth Ring cycle in 1988, as well as a version for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin which is also performed here. Kupfer focuses on humanity's capacity to destroy the world in which it lives, which is embodied by the gigantic ash tree that appears throughout this production. As technology spreads, the tree withers until it finally dies. In Siegfried, the ash tree appears as a gigantic limb over Fafner's cave, where Wotan (as the Traveller) watches events unfold.

The first of the three acts of Siegfried finds the dwarf Mime working hard to make a sword for Siegfried, one that won't break. He does not understand why the young man hates him so much. Siegfried enters and describes his hatred for Mime, whom he cannot believe to be his father, since he bears no resemblance to him. Mime is eventually persuaded to tell Siegfried the truth about his parents, and he shows him the broken sword Notung. Wotan arrives in the form of the Traveller, and challenges Mime to a riddle contest. Mime loses, since he cannot answer the riddle as to who can forge the sword that is to kill the dragon Fafner. The end of the first act shows Siegfried successfully reforging Notung and preparing to challenge the dragon. In the second act, Alberich, Mime's brother, argues with the Traveller about recovering the ring and the gold from the dragon. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.