The young blacksmith Siegfried, who, not knowing that he is heir to a conquered kingdom, becomes popular with the Burgunds by slaying their bane, the dragon Fafnir. When the reward seems to... See full summary »
'Das Rheingold' tells the story about Alberich's theft of the gold from the Rhine, the forging of the Ring of power and sets off a cascade of events that further develop in the subsequent operas of the Ring Cycle.
Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »
Having loved the Met productions of Das Rheingold and Die Walkure I knew I wanted to see Siegfried. And I thought it was fantastic. If there was any disappointment it was the design of dragon Fafner, Matti Salminen sings brilliantly but the design itself looks rather cheap and not as menacing as it should.
Wagner's music is still brilliant, with the Wanderer and Mime's confrontation, Fafner's lament and the Forest murmur, but I find the music to the other three operas a little more memorable.
However despite my 9/10 rating, there are a few improvements to Die Walkure. The staging is less claustrophobic, I do have to agree that Ride of the Valkyries was a little disappointing(but actually that was the only fault I had with the production), Siegfried Jerusalem's Siegfried is a little more at ease and charismatic than Gary Lakes' Siegmund and Hildegard Behrens is more comfortable here as Brunhilde acting-wise, though it's Gotterdamerung where she really does come into her own.
The costume and set design are wonderfully grandiose here, and the video directing continues to impress. The orchestra are truly outstanding here as well, with the best account possibly of Siegfried's Horn Call on DVD, and James Levine again brings out the complexity of the score more than ably. The story after the exquisite prelude moves swiftly with very rare a dull lull.
Jerusalem and Behrens aside, James Morris proves why Wotan/The Wanderer is one of his best roles, while Mime and Alberich both come very close to stealing the show. Overall, a fantastic production. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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