2 Jun 2019

WAGNER: Götterdämmerung

From Opera on Sunday, 6:00 pm on 2 June 2019

Brünnhilde's heroic self-sacrifice paves the way for humankind’s redemption and rebirth.

Edith Haller as Gutrune, Evgeny Nikitin as Gunther, and Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde at The Met

Edith Haller as Gutrune, Evgeny Nikitin as Gunther, and Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera Season

WAGNER: Götterdämmerung – The Twilight of the Gods

Sunday 2 June 2019 at 6pm on RNZ Concert

Cast:

Christine Goerke (Brünnhilde), Edith Haller (Gutrune), Michaela Schuster (Waltraute), Andreas Schager (Siegfried), Evgeny Nikitin (Gunther), Tomasz Koniecszny (Alberich), Eric Owens (Hagen), Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Philippe Jordan

Edith Haller as Gutrune and Evgeny Nikitin as Gunther at The Met

Edith Haller as Gutrune and Evgeny Nikitin as Gunther at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

A culmination of the dramatic and musical ideas set forth in the previous three works of the Ring, the final opera of Wagner’s cycle is also a complete and monumental theatrical journey of its own.

The Ring is set in a mythological world, beginning, in Das Rheingold, beneath the earth and above it. Throughout the action, the setting moves inexorably toward the human dimension. By the time we reach Götterdämmerung, the focus has clearly shifted: The gods do not appear as characters, and they no longer interact directly with humans but are referred to in reminiscences and represented by altars and symbols. 

Andreas Schager as Siegfried at The Met

Andreas Schager as Siegfried at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

The central conflict of the Ring remains the same over the course of four operas, but the protagonists change. In Götterdämmerung, the ring that the Nibelung dwarf Alberich made out of the stolen Rhinegold continues to rule the destinies of humans, including Alberich’s own son Hagen.

Eric Owens as Hagen at The Met

Eric Owens as Hagen at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

Only Brünnhilde, once a warrior goddess and now Siegfried’s mortal wife, has the perspective and wisdom to grasp the full significance of the situation—her journey toward the ultimate sacrifice that will absolve heaven and earth from its primal corruption is the great drama of this opera.

The musical ideas set forth in the first three parts of the Ring find their full expression in this opera. Götterdämmerung contains several of the one-on-one confrontations typical of the Ring, but a considerable amount of the vocal writing departs from the forms established in the previous operas.

Wendy Bryn Harmer, Ronnita Miller, and Elizabeth Bishop as the Norns at The Met

Wendy Bryn Harmer, Ronnita Miller, and Elizabeth Bishop as the Norns at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

The first appearance of true ensemble singing in the trio at the end of Act II and the use of a chorus signify a shift from the rarified world of the gods to an entirely human perspective. Götterdämmerung also presents unique challenges for the lead tenor and soprano, culminating in a cathartic 15-minute narrative by Brünnhilde that is among the longest and most powerful unbroken vocal solos in the operatic repertory.

Synopsis of Götterdämmerung

Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde at The Met

Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde at The Met Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

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