The triumph of the Volsung

Siegfried, having slain the dragon and dispatched the treacherous Mime, must survive an encounter with Wotan, who bars with his spear the hero’s path to the fire-enveloped, sleeping Brünnhilde. (Last act of Siegfried, with Siegfried Jerusalem in the title role. James Levine leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra – 1990 production directed by Otto Schenk.) Twelve years […]

A deadly quiz

Years have passed and Siegfried, child of Siegmund and Sieglinde (Sieglinde having died in childbirth), has been brought up in the care of the dwarf Mime, Alberich’s brother. The climax of Act I is a forging scene when Siegfried, with Mime plotting and scheming  in the background, reforges his father’s sword, Nothung. (Conclusion of the first act […]

Wotans Abschied

The exquisite beauty of Wotan’s farewell to his daughter, the valkyrie Brünnhilde, is one of the high points of the Ring Cycle†: (it’s sung here by James Morris in the 1990 Metropolitan Opera production – the DVD has been released by Deutsche Grammophon) The scene gives us fine examples of Wagner’s use of the leit-motif… …and chromatic […]