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Sat, 06. Feb 2021, 17:00

Richard Wagner [1813 – 1883]


The two middle sections of the tetralogy set out two ways of experiencing life. On the one hand we are presented in THE VALKYRIE with Brünnhilde, whose maturation process takes her from her discovery of sorrow and empathy to a conscious reflection on what it is to be human. By contrast, Siegfried’s path is mapped out solely as a function of his sensory experience. Where initially the young man’s self-image stems only from his exploration of his own boundless strength, other senses and sensibilities soon come to bear, along with an awakening sexuality. SIEGFRIED presents an encounter not only between man and woman but between two principles – Siegfried’s innate, unquestioned vigour on one side and Brünnhilde’s wisdom born of observation on the other. And as these two diametrical forces unite in a love clinch, the end of the opera seems to be presenting the basis for a renewal of human society.

For his SIEGFRIED Wagner created one of the genre’s most striking and memorable tenor roles, one which is not only very long and extremely demanding but also the epitome of the heroic tenor. In the new production of the RING the part of Siegfried is being taken by one of the most renowned Wagnerians of the past decade, the New Zealander Simon O’Neill. Although his appearances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin will mark the tenor’s debut as Siegfried in a full-blown opera, O’Neill has already delivered a triumphant concertante performance of Siegfried at the Edinburgh Festival and recorded a CD of the material.

The second day
A scenic festival in three days and one eve
First performed on 16th August, 1876 in Bayreuth
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 24th January, 2021