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Simon O'Neill

Wagner Die Walküre

The 22 September 2019
Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin
Program

Wagner : Die Walküre 1h30

Cast
  • Conductor
    Daniel Barenboim
  • Director
    Guy Cassiers
  • Performers
    Siegmund: Simon O'Neill (Tenor)
    Sieglinde: Anja Kampe (Soprano)
    Wotan: Michael Volle (Basse Baryton)
    Brünnhilde: Iréne Theorin (Soprano)
    Hunding: Falk Struckmann (Basse)
    Fricka: Ekaterina Gubanova (Mezzo-Soprano Castrato)
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin Location Unter den Linden 7 - 10117 Berlin Allemagne

The Venue's History in few words …

When the opera house situated on the Lindenallee was inaugurated in 1742, Frederick the Great intended to turn it into the cultural symbol of his ideal capital, the hub of the "Forum Fridericianum." This "enchanted palace," as the enlightened despot called it, is one of the rare vestiges of the old city still visible today, and a large part of German musics cultural heritage is contained within its walls. The Berlin Staatskapelle, for example, the orchestra connected with the opera, was founded in 1570 and the list of its permanent conductors includes names such as those of Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Furtwangler, Klemperer and Karajan! During the 19th century, the Berlin Opera remained a royal opera, where Weber's FREISCHUTZ was premiered. The activities of the Berlin Staatskapelle developed under Spontini's responsability, the first "Preussischer Generalmusikdirektor," ever appointed. This goes to show the importance of the ensemble in German musical life at that time, an importance which constantly grew, especially after the "Sinfonie-Soireen" were created in 1842, open to the public by subscription.

 

In 1919, the Royal Opera became a state opera, and played an active role in the exhuberant artistic activity that rocked Germany during the twenties: Erich Kleiber presented Berg's WOZZECK and popular harmonies of composers such as Kurt Weill resounded in this shrine of the lyrical repertoire, until Nazism cut short a period of intense creativity. During the war, Karajan forged his reputation in the theatre, until bombs destroyed the building, partially in 1941, and completely in 1945.

 

Because of its geographical situation, the Staatsoper became, in 1949, the Opera of East Berlin. In 1955, the East German administration reinstalled the company in its illustrious hall, rebuilt along the original plans, and one could soon applaud singers such as Peter Schreier and Theo Adam on its stage, musicians who helped create a truly Eastern German singing tradition.

 

Since the German reunification, the institution has been completely reorganized, especially under the impetus of Daniel Barenboim, who became its General Music Director in 1992. Proud of its impressive history, the present day Opera Unter den Linden hardly neglects its baroque beginnings, and it henceforth counts amongst those that most often produce pre-Mozartian lyrical works, such as CLEOPATRA E CESARE by Graun which opened the Opera's first season in 1742. But the house also commissions works by Pierre Boulez, while defending the traditional repertoire, in which Wagner occupies a large place. By thus juxtaposing tradition and innovation, the Opera Unter den Linden has become one of the institutions most representative of Berlin's new dynamism.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Synopsis

Die Walküre

LA WALKYRIE, ONE OF THE GREAT GREAT GERMAN OPERAS'S BY WAGNER

Richard Wagner's La Walkyrie, which translates to The Valkyrie brings to the stage a beautiful story and stunning imagery of the Norse myths of the Valkyrie choosing which soldiers will live and die in battle.

This classic piece of German culture to hear live the iconic Ride of the Valkyrie, which is probably best known in popular culture as the theme of the helicopter pilots in the Hollywood movie, Apocalypse Now.

HISTORY

Based at the time of the Vikings, this opera by the great German composer is the second of the four operas in the classic Ring of the Nibelung series. The basis of the story of this series of operas tells the tale of the Norse hero Siegfried, explaining the story of the conception of the Norse hero and the romance between his parents.

Act 1

A raging storm forces Siegmund to take shelter in an unfamiliar house, where he is greeted by Sieglinde, the unhappy mistress of the home. Siegmund is obviously fleeing and decides to hide his identity behind the name Wehwalt. Sieglinde's husband, Hunding returns and prompts Siegmund to reveal the fact he is fleeing a group of pursuers. Hunding reveals he is one of those pursuing Siegmund and challenges him to battle the next morning. Sieglinde explains the tree in the centre of the room holds a sword left there by a mysterious old man. Siegmund removes the sword and realises it was left by his father and that Sieglinde is his twin sister.

Act 2

As act 2 begins the truth about the ancestry of Siegmund and Sieglinde is revealed as the Norse God Wotan explains to his Valkyrie daughter, Brunhilde that Siegmund and Sieglinde are his children. The conversation is interrupted by Fricka, Wotan's wife who is also the guardian of marriage, she tells Wotan that he must allow Siegmund to be killed as he has committed adultery and incest with his sister Sieglinde. Wotan interferes with the battle between Siegmund and Hunding, which ends with Siegmund's death.

Act 3

Brunhilde flees the scene of Siegmund's death with Sieglinde, whom she brings to the other Valkyrie, Brunhilde agrees to delay Wotan and let Sieglinde and her unborn child, Siegfried flee. Wotan arrives and decides that Brunhilde must be punished by death for her actions in disobeying him. Brunhilde pleads for her life and is held at the top of a mountain in a deep sleep until a hero wakes her with a kiss. Wotan makes the mountain difficult to access by allowing the God, Loge to create a ring of fire around the mountain.

MAIN ROLES

Siegmund, son of Wotan, tenor
Sieglinde, daughter of Wotan, soprano
Hunding, husband of Sieglinde, bass
Wotan, Norse God, bass-baritone
Fricka, Wotan's wife, mezzo-soprano
Brunhilde, Valkyrie, soprano

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

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