SIEGFRIED, AN INCREDIBLE OPERA
As the third of four installments of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried is an opera inspired by the tale of the legendary Norse hero Sigurd. Created by Richard Wagner, the Opera premiered on 16th August 1876 at Bayreuth Festspielhaus as a segment of the initial complete performance of The Ring.
The Opera opens with a young orphan fearless boy who is expressing his desire to learn fear. His foster father advises him that the wise learn fear quickly. Eventually the boy is taught fear by his future wife and learns it when he discovers the slumbering Brunnhilde.
The Opera is part of the operatic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring of the Nibelung). The creation of the text occurred between 1848 and 1853 when the four parts of The Ring were printed privately. The names of the remaining two Ring operas were not established until 1856. The composition of the tetralogy consumed Wagner for almost a quarter century.
Nibelung dwarf Mime, the brother of Alberich, begins the Opera in a cave where he is fashioning a new sword. He has nurtured a human foster boy named Siegfried to kill a dragon, Fafner, who protects the ring. The boy requires a sword to kill the dragon but has broken all that have been created. The boy returns to the cave for a new sword and immediately breaks it. When demanding a new sword, Nibelung explains that he cannot create one. After the boy departs, The Wanderer tells Nibelung that only the boy can forge the sword.
The Wanderer arrives at the entrance to the dragon's cave were Alberich is keeping watch. At dawn, the boy and Mime arrive where he lures the dragon out. The boy stabs the dragon in the heart and takes the ring and other treasure. Mime offers the boy a poisoned drink but the boy can read his thoughts and stabs him to death. The boy moves the two corpses to block the entrance to the cave.
The Wanderer appears and summons the Earth goddess Erda who cannot offer advice. The Wanderer tells her that he does not fear the end of the gods and that his heritage will be left to the boy. He arrives and the Wanderer questions the boy who answers insolently. He attempts to move down the path to Brunnhilde's rock but is blocked by the Wanderer. The boy easily passes and emerges on Brunnhilde's rock. He sees an armored being which turns out to be a woman. He instantly gains fear as this is the first woman he has ever seen.
Siegfried, the fearless boy, tenor
Mime, the foster father, tenor
The Wanderer, brass-baritone
Waldvogel, the woodbird, soprano
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