The performances of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle in Stuttgart created a sensation unheard of since the monumental century Ring in Bayreuth in the late seventies. "Four operas - four stage ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Renate Behle ...
Angela Denoke ...
Margit Diefenthal ...
Robert Gambill ...
Wiebke Göetjes ...
Attila Jun ...
Stella Kleindienst ...
Nidia Palacios ...
Helene Ranada ...
Jan-Hendrik Rootering ...
Magdalena Schäfer ...
Staatsorchester Stuttgart ...
Themselves - Orchester
Maria Theresa Ullrich ...
Tichina Vaughn ...
Fricka (as Tachina Vaughn)
Eva-Maria Westbroek ...


The performances of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle in Stuttgart created a sensation unheard of since the monumental century Ring in Bayreuth in the late seventies. "Four operas - four stage directors" was the artistic idea behind the 1999/2000 cycle under the musical direction of Lothar Zagrosek. Appreciating the individual operas of Der Ring des Nibelungenwithout having to relate to previous or subsequent storylines enabled the stage directors - handpicked among the successful Stuttgart Opera team surrounding Artistic Director Klaus Zehelein - to express their individual insights into the well-known drama of Siegfried and Wotan. In 2002 German critics voted Stuttgart's Staatsoper "Opera House of the Year" for the fourth time in five years. This series was recorded live at revival performances in 2002 and 2003, and it pays tribute to the artistic and musical achievement of the Stuttgart Opera House and a wonderful cast of singers. The production was directed by the "psychoanalyst" ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

20 April 2004 (Germany)  »

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16:9 HD
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User Reviews

A Streetcar Named Valhalla
23 October 2008 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

This production, directed by Cristof Nel is like one of those challenges they give to eager young apprentices on daytime reality shows: "We want you to stage Die Walküre and you have a budget of €50 to do it on". I imagine most of the budget was spent on the brown wrapping paper and sticky tape to make the Valkyries' wings. It does start off well though, in the meeting between Sieglinde and Siegmund. To be honest, I have never known this scene to fail. It just oozes eroticism. Angela Denoke is a sensuous Sieglinde and Robert Gambill is a virile Siegmund. I suppose the fact that Denoke wears just a nylon slip makes me think that it resembles something by Tennessee Williams although I could not, for the life of me, work out why Gambill wears short trousers. In this version it is implied that Wotan has buried his sword, Nothung, not in the ash tree but in Sieglinde's body as we see it projected onto her nylon slip. This makes some sort of sense to me.

In Act II we see Wotan, played as a fat slob by Jan-Hedrik Rootering, and a mini-skirted Brünnhilde, sung by Renate Behle. Behle is the smallest singer I have seen playing this demanding role. She makes a valiant attempt but her face distorts disconcertingly and her knobbly knees buckle under the effort. Tachina Vaughn is more successful as Frike, Wotan's wife and the scene in which she nags him into abandoning his protégé Siegmund is an effective one. So Siegmund has to lose his fight with Hagen, here staged crudely with marionettes.

The ride of the Valkyries, sung by eight mini-skirted women with cardboard wings, looks silly and sounds underpowered with an unimpressive Stuttgart orchestra under conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Worse is to come: the final scene between Wotan and Brünnhilde is played as soap opera. He sits reading a newspaper while she harangues him. There is no hint here of the tender, probably incestuous, feelings that Wotan has for his daughter.

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