New Productions

SIEGFRIED
Richard Wagner
1813 - 1883

Libretto by the composer
First performed August 16th 1876, Festspielhaus Bayreuth

Sung in German with German surtitles
Duration: c. 5 hrs including 2 intervals

About the piece

Wagner finished the libretto for his new opera at the end of 1852. What had begun as Siegfried’s Death had now grown into a ...
Wagner finished the libretto for his new opera at the end of 1852. What had begun as Siegfried’s Death had now grown into a four-part »Stage Festival« so as to provide the background which was to lead to Siegfried’s downfall. Wagner told Franz Liszt: »writing the music will be very easy and quick: because it will only be the execution of that which is already finished«; but things turned out differently. After four years he had finished Rheingold and Walküre and begun work on Siegfried. But here his flow became blocked. The composer was seized by »melancholic doubt« and the perhaps most extraordinary pause in the history of operatic composition took place: the Ring des Nibelungen, which had already taken many years in coming to being, ground to a halt for nearly twelve years. Only the prospect that the complete work could be performed encouraged him to start working on it again. His orchestral writing had become more layered and harmonically complex. More astonishing than the long break in composing is the compelling arch of sound that is apparent throughout the Ring.
   Siegfried is therefore a work of transition, of change. It is also a piece that connects: Nordic myths merge with the German Nibelungenlied. Wagner said that Siegfried was an »intermezzo«. A tale about »the boy who went forth to learn what fear was«, a hero in whom others have put their own, conflicting, hopes. Passages of comedy take place during this »Second Day« - but gloomy ones too, having to take farewell, the old gods’ loss of power. Hope lies – the base tone in Wagner’s thoughts and creation – in love.

Synopsis

Siegfried, Siegmund and Sieglinde’s son, has been brought up by Mime who is trying to forge a sword strong enough for him so that ...
Siegfried, Siegmund and Sieglinde’s son, has been brought up by Mime who is trying to forge a sword strong enough for him so that he can kill Fafner, who has taken on the form of a dragon to guard his treasure, enabling Mime to get his hands on the Ring. Wotan is roaming the world as a Wanderer. After a knowledge competition with Mime, who loses, he tells him that only a man who has never learnt what fear is can mend Siegmund’s sword, Nothung. Siegfried mends his father’s broken weapon and kills Fafner. After coming into contact with the dragon’s blood he can understand the language of birds, one of whom tells him to take the Ring and Tarnhelm and not to trust Mime, who he kills when he tries to trick him into drinking poison. The bird tells him about Brünnhilde asleep on a rock and they set off to find her. Wotan wakes Erda and asks her how he can change the fate of the gods. When Erda finds out that their daughter has been deprived of her divinity and is sleeping surrounded by a ring of fire she keeps silent – for her he is no longer the ruling god he claims to be. Wotan tries to prevent Siegfried from reaching Brünnhilde but Siegfried, believing him to be his father’s enemy, breaks his spear with his sword. Siegfried strides through the ring of fire and wakes Brünnhilde with a kiss. She sees the fateful ring on his finger and is fearful that she is no longer able to save him from Wotan’s plans of distruction. He is insistant and she eventually gives into her desires. Their joy is ecstatic.


With generous support from Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Sponsorenlogo Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen
Performances

Sunday 06.11.2011 17:00 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 14

Pre-booking and Pricing

Cast

Conductor
Sebastian Weigle
Director
Vera Nemirova
Stage Designer
Jens Kilian
Costume Designer
Ingeborg Bernerth
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Dramaturge
Malte Krasting
Video
Bibi Abel

Siegfried
Lance Ryan
Mime
Peter Marsh
Der Wanderer
Terje Stensvold
Alberich
Jochen Schmeckenbecher
Fafner
Magnús Baldvinsson
Erda
Meredith Arwady
Brünnhilde
Susan Bullock
Voice of the Waldvogel
Robin Johannsen
Waldvogel
Alan Barnes

Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

Video

MORE VIDEOS
 
Copyright © 2013 Oper Frankfurt