In the second act of The Valkyrie Wotan is twice defied; once by his wife Fricka, goddess of marriage, and once by his daughter, the valkyrie, Brünnhilde. While Fricka is successful in her demands that the adulterous and incestuous relationship of the twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde should be punished, Brünnhilde fails to deflect Wotan from the course of action that Fricka has forced upon him. Brünnhilde the valkyrie is compelled to appear to Siegmund the hero as the harbinger of death –
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2 thoughts on “Wotan defied”
DIE WALKÜRE Act 3 on YouTube
I recommend http://youtu.be/8aw–_khjLA for its impressive staging effects: not least, the opening vision of perspex-helmeted Valkyries scampering down a stairway from heaven — looking not unlike members of the bemacintoshed French CRS riot police that I remember from 1968, though bearing spears rather than tear-gas launchers. Perhaps appropriately, the subtitles of this (Bayreuth / Barenboim 1993) production are in French.
— Conduisez vos chevaux dans la forêt! (To which, oddly, not one Valkyrie replies “Mais où sont-ils donc, nos chevaux?”)
A little confusingly at first, I thought, Brünnhilde and Sieglinde look just like red-haired sisters — but then I remembered that, of course, they ARE (at least half-)sisters, and sure enough, when Papa Wotan turns up he has red hair too. A nice regard for continuity there!
The depth of the Bayreuth stage is ideal for allowing characters to RUN great distances (essential, really, for battles and the like), but it also allows for two characters to appear as if alone together in the middle of a vast plain.
At the end of the act we see the spell-bound Brünnhilde emerge from Loge’s pyrotechnic show (complete with lasers) surrounded not so much by a ring of fire as by the glowing outline of a strangely tilted cube …and why not?
Oh, and, of course, the playing of the Festspielhaus Orchestra in this production is amazing too!
Which, of course, makes Brünnhilde Siegfried’s aunt. More on this later…
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