Wagner's Die Walküre
NOTE: This broadcast begins at noon instead of 1pm.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Broadcast Note: Today's start was delayed by approximately 40 minutes. According to a statement from the Met, the delay was "due to a problem with an encoding sensor in one of the planks that comprise the set. The problem was discovered this morning as the stage was being set for today's opera, so the sensor had to be fixed before the performance could begin." [Read the full AP Story]
Director Robert Lepage's new Ring continues with Die Walküre, the cycle’s second installment featuring Bryn Terfel in his Met role debut this season as Wotan, Lord of the Gods. Deborah Voigt is Brünnhilde, while Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek are the Wälsungen twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde. Stephanie Blythe is Fricka.
Wagner began work on the Ring cycle in 1848 with a piece he titled Der Nibelungen-Mythus: als Entwurf zu einem Drama (“The Nibelung Myth: as Sketch for a Drama”). The composer spent more than 25 years spinning his tale, and wound up working backwards from the last opera in the cycle, Götterdämmerung. The complete Ring cycle consists of the operas Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, completed in 1874. Two years later, the work had its premiere at the first Bayreuth Festival.
When Liszt received a copy of the Walküre score, he reportedly wrote a note to Wagner, stating, “Your Walküre [score] has arrived, and I should like to reply to you by your Lohengrin chorus, sung by 1,000 voices, and repeated a thousandfold: ‘A wonder! A wonder!’”
After completing this performance, James Levine, who has conducted every full Ring cycle at the Met since 1989, hangs up his baton until October. The ailing Met music director will be covered by Met principal guest conductor, Fabio Luisi.
Cast and credits:
Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Sieglinde: Eva Maria Westbroek
Fricka: Stephanie Blythe
Siegmund: Jonas Kaufmann
Wotan: Bryn Terfel
Hunding: Hans-Peter König
Production: Robert Lepage