Opera by Richard Wagner / Der Ring des Nibelungen
Opera by Richard Wagner
Part three of the tetralogy
DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN
Again years pass. Giving birth to her son Siegfried ("joy of victory") Sieglinde dies. The dwarf Mime, Alberich’s brother, raises the youth in whose soul lives the thirst for combat and exploits. He wants to get a weapon worthy of glorious deeds, but all swords, forged by Mime, break into the hands of the youth. In Siegfried’s absence, Wotan appears in Mime’s workshop in the image of a stranger and reveals to the dwarf that the sword from the broken pieces of Nothung (the blade that once belonged to Siegmund) can only be re-forged by someone who "does not know fear". Therefore the fearful Mime can not fulfil the will of Siegfried. The young man, returning to the workshop, forges the sword with powerful blows of the hammer. The vicious dwarf wants to obtain, with Siegfried’s help, the Nibelungs’ ring guarded by Fafner – and then kill the hero. Fafner has turned into a dragon and for many years has kept his treasures. Siegfried kills him and when by chance he brings to his lips his thumb, flecked with the dragon’s blood, he begins to understand the language of birds. One of them reveals to him the power of the ring and the helmet, protects him from the treachery of Mime (Siegfried kills the dwarf) and tells him that on top of the cliff, surrounded by flames, a beautiful maiden lies asleep, who can be reached only by a hero. Wotan tries in vain to stop Siegfried – Erda, Goddess of the Earth, heralds the twilight of the gods. The spear of Wotan breaks into pieces under the blows of the young hero’s sword. He climbs on top of the cliff, passing through the flame. Siegfried removes Brünhilde’s helmet, kisses her and wakes her up. Both are overwhelmed by love. In the name of Love Brünhilde renounces Immortality.