Opera
The Ring of the Nibelung: Second Day

Siegfried

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)
Sung in German, with surtitles
Libretto: by the composer
First performance: 1876 in Bayreuth

Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster

Siegfried, the powerful, free-spirited hero was also a type of secret projection figure for Wagner. Excited by his own creation, he wrote to Ludwig II: “Siegfried is divine. It is my greatest work!” Only Siegfried’s new world order could finally free Wotan from his contractual shackles and power struggles; the fact that Siegfried became a prototype of the “master race” in the 20th century, is a chapter which cannot be separated from the current view of the opera. At the same time, the third instalment of the Ring cycle contains one of the greatest love stories and, perhaps, Siegfried’s hardest test – though no contest with the “easy” acquisition of the Rheingold treasure – his encounter with Wotan’s Valkyrie daughter Brünnhilde. Fearlessly passing through the ring of fire in which Wotan has imprisoned his daughter in an eternal, magical sleep, he experiences fear for the first time at the sight of the awakening Brünnhilde. The pair become inflamed with passionate love for one another. To Wagner, the revolution which Siegfried embodied and which finally put an end to the antiquated world order, was both seminal and productive: “Siegfried innocently took on the guilt of the gods. He suffered for their injustices through his stubbornness and independence.”

2017 International May Festival
The Ring Cycle

Das Rheingold
First performance: 1869 in Munich

Die Walküre
First performance: 1870 in Munich

Siegfried
First performance: 1876 in Munich

Götterdämmerung
First performance: 1876 in Bayreuth

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)
Libretto: by the composer

The 2017 International May Festival offers two complete cycles of Wagner’s “Ring”, each spread over the course of six days. On the “rest days” during the first cycle, we offer the Wagner Gala Concert, a lecture matinee and a reading from Thomas Mann’s “Wälsungenblut”, while the second cycle offers the operas “Le nozze di Figaro” and “Die Zauberflöte”.

“The incomparable thing about myth,” wrote Wagner in 1851, “is that it is true for all time.” His “Ring” is a drama about the genesis and demise of a mythical world which is, despite everything, more current than ever before. With human co-existence at its core, Wagner’s mammoth four-part work is filled with symbols such as ring, speer, gold, helmet and sword, as well as countless musically and textually interwoven elements. Figures, ideas, thoughts, feelings and naturalistic references blend with words and music to form images in which endless associative properties are hidden and expressed. In the end, what ultimately remains after all the violence and death, is hope for a new beginning – an unredeemed wish not only for the 19th, but also for the 20th and 21st centuries.
PERFORMANCE DATES: GROSSES HAUS

1st Cycle
Das Rheingold 26 April
Die Walküre 27 April
Siegfried 29 April
Götterdämmerung 1 May

2nd Cycle
Das Rheingold 23 May
Die Walküre 24 May
Siegfried 26 May
Götterdämmerung 28 May

Cast

Conductor Alexander Joel
Director Uwe Eric Laufenberg
Stage Designer Gisbert Jäkel
Costume Designer Antje Sternberg
Lighting Designer Andreas Frank
Video Falko Sternberg
Dramaturgy Katja Leclerc
Siegfried Andreas Schager
Mime
The Wanderer Jukka Rasilainen
Der Wanderer Thomas J. Mayer
Alberich Thomas de Vries
Fafner Young Doo Park
Erda Bernadett Fodor
Brünnhilde Evelyn Herlitzius
Waldvogel (the woodbird) Stella An
Statisterie des Hessischen Staatstheaters Wiesbaden, Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden