Last night we awaited "Siegfried", the most intimate of all four operas in "Der Ring des Nibelungen".
Before the performance began, we saw familiar faces greeting each other warmly. The spectators shared with each other their impressions of the first two nights at the Sofia Opera and were eagerly rushing for "Siegfried".
A warm and cosy atmosphere settled in the hall and replaced the euphoria surrounding "Die Walküre". We were about to watch something exciting.
"Siegfried" is an opera with an extremely difficult score. In Wagner's dramaturgy, all the characters are in incredible symbiosis and lead the action simultaneously. The balance in the production is perfect as in an enchanting dance, the scenes followed their rhythm and fascinated the audience immensely. The set design and costumes, complemented with lovely multimedia and lighting, created a sense of an extraordinary and unique spiritual experience.
Siegfried's story was told by exceptional singers for whom there are no secrets in interpreting Wagner's music.
Everyone in the room loves Constantin Trinks and the orchestra. As the conductor entered and exited between acts, the audience greeted him with shouts of "Bravo" and applause.
An impactful spectacle we watched last night! Unceasing applause and shouts of "Bravo!" filled the hall after the final chords. The enthusiastic audience vociferously expressed their excitement and gave the artists a huge love and gratitude for what they had experienced.
Here's what a colleague of ours said after the spectacle: "At the intermission, I walk out of the hall, and a woman walks beside me, her hands pressed to her heart, saying to me: "It's so good, what I just heard. Amazing production! I've seen all of Wagner's spectacles here before. But this year my happiness is immense!"
Let's also share "Götterdämmerung", the fourth opera in "Der Ring des Nibelungen" cycle.
We'll find out on Thursday when our "Ring" ends.
Here are the soloists and the production team who performed last night.
DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN
a solemn stage performance for three days and a prelude;
libretto and music by Richard Wagner
Eve – "Das Rheingold",
First day – "Die Walküre",
Day Two – "Siegfried",
Day Three – "Götterdämmerung"
"Der Ring des Nibelungen" interweaves complex narrative and conceptual motifs. The action of the cycle takes place on earth, in the waters of the Rhine, underground, in Valhalla – in the sky, among humans, dwarves, gods and ends with a cosmic catastrophe that encompasses the universe.
What does "Siegfried" tell in the second day of the tetralogy?
Again, years pass. After giving birth to a son, Sieglinde dies. The dwarf Mime, Alberich's brother, raises the young man, in whose soul lives a thirst for struggle and exploits. He wants to obtain weapons worthy of glorious deeds, but all the swords forged by Mime break in the young man's hands.
In the guise of a Wanderer, Wotan enters Mime's forge in Siegfried's absence. He reveals to the dwarf that only a hero who "knows no fear" can forge a sword from the pieces of Nothung (the blade that belonged to Sigmund).
This is why the cowardly Mime cannot do Siegfried's will. The young man returns to the forge and forges a sword with powerful blows of the hammer. The evil dwarf wants to seize Fafner's Nibelung Ring with Siegfried's help and then kill the hero.
Transformed into a dragon, Fafner kept his treasures for many years. Siegfried kills him and, by accidentally raising his blood-spattered finger to his lips, begins to understand the language of birds. One of them reveals to him the power of the ring and helmet, warns him of Mime's treachery (Siegfried kills the dwarf), and tells him that on the top of the cliff, surrounded by flames, sleeps a beautiful maiden whom only a hero can reach.
Wotan tries in vain to stop Siegfried – the earth goddess Erda heralds the sunset of the gods. Wotan's spear breaks under the blow of the young hero's sword. He climbs to the top of the cliff, passing through the flames. Removing Brünnhilde's helmet, he kisses her and awakens her. Both are overcome with love. In the name of love, Brünnhilde gives up immortality.
The myth of the Nibelungs is an essential part of Germanic mythology, passed down orally in various versions. But various records have also been found in many monasteries. This is how they came down to us. The main actors are Siegfried, Kriemhilde, Günther, Brünnhilde and Hagen von Tronje.
As in the name of his father Siegmund, Siegfried's (Sigurd's) name contains the first element -sieg, meaning "victory," and the complement is "guardian."
The Welsung Saga continues with Siegfried, Siegmund's son, dying attacking Odin, who breaks his sword. From these remains, with fire and magic, the son again forges a sword and names it Nothung.
The myth dates back to the 13th century. At the same time, the saga became part of the German national epic. Siegfried is the hero who slays the dragon Fafner. It is noted somewhere that after bathing in the monster's blood he becomes invulnerable, with only a spot on his back that the blood has not reached and there is his weak spot. This immediately makes references to Greek mythology and the hero Achilles.
The most epic transformation of these characters is in Richard Wagner's tetralogy "Der Ring des Nibelungen".
Tickets for the next performances of the Sofia Opera Wagner Festival can be purchased here.