Wagner’s Ring Cycle
June 20 to 23
From June 20 to 23, over four afternoons, Stingray Classica broadcasts the monumental opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, the magnum opus of the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). These productions are recorded at the Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2003 under the baton of Lothar Zagrosek. Richard Wagner is perhaps the greatest innovator of the opera genre in the nineteenth century and aimed for the creation of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, in which theatre, music and words were united. The cycle is composed between 1853 and 1874, and consists of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. Striking in Wagner's operas is the use of the so-called ‘Leitmotiv’, a melodic motif that stands for a certain idea or character. In addition, Wagner uses unconventional harmonies and very extensive orchestral instrumentation. The entire cycle is still performed annually at the Bayreuth Festival, where it premiered in 1876. Now you can also enjoy this colossal masterpiece at Stingray Classica!
June 20 at 14:00 | Wagner - Das Rheingold
Das Rheingold is the prologue to Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. This rendition (2003) features the Staatsoper Stuttgart under the baton of conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Tonight’s soloists are Wolfgang Probst, Motti Kastón, Bernhard Schneider, Robert Künzli, Esa Ruuttunen, Eberhard Francesco Lorenz and Roland Bracht. With beautiful orchestration and an unerring sense of the dramatic, the first opera explains how the Rhinedaughters lost the Ring and how it fell into the hands of Alberich the Nibelung; Wotan, king of the gods; and Fafner the giant. Each time it changes hands, the Ring confers upon the bearer a curse and this pattern is set to continue until it is restored to its rightful owners, the daughters of the Rhine.
June 21 | Wagner - Die Walküre
Die Walküre is the second opera in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. This rendition (2003) features the Staatsoper Stuttgart under the baton of conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Tonight’s soloists are Robert Gambill, Attila Jun, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Angela Denoke, Renate Behle, Tchina Vaughn, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Wiebke Göetjes. Die Walküre continues the story of the Rhinedaughters' gold, the ring of power forged from it, and the curse which falls on its owner. The action moves to earth - where Siegmund and Sieglinde, the mortal children of Wotan, are introduced - and follows the downfall of Wotan's hopes that Siegmund will prove to be the hero who saves the gods. Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie (warrior maiden) who gives the opera its title, becomes inextricably bound up with Wotan's pursuit of his vision.
June 22 | Wagner – Siegfried
The third part of the Ring Cycle focuses on Siegfried, the child of Sieglinde and Siegmund. His upbringing wild and free, he has never learned the meaning of fear. As he struggles to break free from his past and to forge his own destiny, the fateful possession of the Ring passes to him. He acquires his father's sword, kills the dragon Fafner, and wakes the sleeping Brünnhilde. As the Wanderer (Wotan in disguise) tries to bar his way, he brushes him aside and breaks his spear, thereby destroying his power. "Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito turned out the funniest Siegfried I have ever experienced. Lisa Gasteen's voice was lovely and communicative… Wolfgang Schöne made a marvelous Wanderer while Heinz Göhrig created a more sympathetic Mime than usual. His singing was excellent." (Seattle Opera Magazine. The Staatsorchester Stuttgart is conducted by Lother Zagrosek. Soloists of the evening are Jon Frederic West, Wolfgang Schöne, Björn Waag, Attila Jun, Gabreila Herrera, Helene Ranada and Lisa Gasteen. This rendition took place in the Staatsoper in Stuttgart in 2003 and was directed by Jossi Wieler.
June 23 | Wagner – Götterdämmerung
The final opera of the Ring cycle tells the story of how the ring and its curse brings the downfall of the Gods and a tragic end to the love between Siegfried and Brünnhilde. As Brünnhilde's death becomes an act of redemption for the gods and all living creatures, a new dawn of hope is ushered in. "It is very likely that in the near future the Stuttgart Ring, conceived by Klaus Zehelein will be remembered as a Wagnerian watershed as much as Wieland Wagner's in the 1950s." (Opera Magazine). The Staatsorchester Stuttgart is conducted by Lother Zagrosek. Soloists of the evening are Albert Bonnema, Roland Bracht, Hernan Iturralde, Franz-Josef Kapellman, Luana DeVol and Eva-Maria Westbroek. The performance took place in Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2003 and is directed by Peter Konwitschny.