Die Walküre (Richard Wagner)


The Ring of the Nibelung, „First Day“

Music Drama in 3 acts
Live at the
Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar
A production of Monarda Arts/RM Arts in collaboration with Zoom Production


 

“The free man must be his own maker” Richard Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung” reflects the composer’s autobiography as much as the political turmoil of his times. As work progressed, another figure grew to be as important as the hero Siegfried, the god Wotan, the mouthpiece for Wagner’s ideas. “He’s exactly like us: he is the sum of today’s intellectual consciousness, whereas Siegfried is what we hope the human being of the future will be, but who cannot be fashioned by us, and who must make himself by means of our destruction!” Our own doom as the basis of a happier future? Wagner dressed this Herculean task musically in the spreading, shimmering web of his leitmotivic working (there are approximately 20 distinct motives in “Die Walküre”). Dramaturgically, the conversational style of “Das Rheingold” gives way to the tone of bourgeois tragedy: incestuous passion, more than one form of deep-seated marital antagonism, and a lot of talk, a lot of self-justification in the form of recapitulation. This, the First Day of the tetralogy (Das Rheingold being a “preliminary evening”), was without doubt the “most moving, the most tragic” of all Wagner’s works in the view of his wife Cosima, expressed in her diary on 31 August 1873. The text of “Die Walküre” was finished on 1 July 1852, and the score was completed in late March 1856. With the financial help of his ever-generous friend (and future father-in-law) Franz Liszt, Wagner went to rest from his labours on the shores of Lake Geneva.

 

Available at Arthaus Musik (DVD and Blu ray)

Production

 

Producer: Torsten Bönnhoff, Erwin Stürzer
Executive Producer: Rainer Mockert
Directed for Screen by: Brooks Riley
Cameras: Sylvia Laubscher, Silvia Hoffmann, Neil Coffey, Michi Plötz, Christian Hartmann, Richard Ruck, Atul Jain, Alex Telar
Sound: Leonardo Ruschin, Walter Spring
Editor: Brooks Riley
Postproduction: Digital Images GmbH
Language: German
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
Running Time: 237 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Year of production: 2009

 

Creative Team

 

Composer: Richard Wagner
Libretto: Richard Wagner
Conductor: Carl St.Clair
Director: Michael Schulz
Set Design: Dirk Becker
Costume Design: Renée Listerdal
Dramaturgy: Wolfgang Willaschek
Orchestra: Staatskapelle Weimar

Wotan: Renatus Mészár
Fricka: Christine Hansmann
Brünnhilde: Catherine Foster
Siegmund: Erin Caves