Wagner’s Ring Cycle

September 21 to 24

 

On the evenings of September 21 to 24, Stingray Brava presents the monumental, four-part opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. These four operas, which constitute the magnum opus of the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), were performed by the Staatsorchester Stuttgart under the baton of Lothar Zagrosek.

Richard Wagner may have been the greatest innovator in 19th century opera. Wagner wanted to create a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, in which drama, music, and text were united.

Der Ring des Nibelungen, which was written between 1853 and 1874, consists of four operas: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. Wagner borrowed his operas' main characters from the German Nibelungenlied.

Contrary to tradition, Wagner personally wrote the librettos for all four operas. Moreover, Wagner's operas use the principle of the ‘Leitmotiv’, a melodic motive that represents a certain idea or character. Even more noteworthy are Wagner's unconventional harmonies and very extensive orchestrations.

The full Ring cycle was first performed at the Bayreuth Festival Theatre in 1876. Up to this day, the cycle is performed annually at the Bayreuth Festival. Stingray Brava makes it possible that you can now enjoy this gargantuan masterpiece from the comfort of your own home!


Thursday, September 21 at 14:00 CEST | Richard Wagner - Das Rheingold

Das Rheingold is the prologue to Wagner's Ring Cycle, and opens up the rich world of gods, dwarves, giants, dragons and humans that the story inhabits. 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. "In a masterly way Schlömer succeeds in presenting the characters' constantly changing web of relations. And since the stage is always open, the interludes are truly perceived as retrospective-anticipatory commentaries, and the music and scenery are linked interactively… The singing and action fit together perfectly…This Rheingold has an incomparable quality." (FAZ)

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Performers: Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Soloists: Wolfgang Probst, Motti Kastón, Bernhard Schneider, Robert Künzli, Esa Ruuttunen, Eberhard Francesco Lorenz, Roland Bracht
Composer: Richard Wagner
Producer: EuroArts Music International
Video director: Thorsten Fricke, János Darvas
Location: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2003


Friday, September 22 at 14:00 CEST | Richard Wagner – Die Walküre

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. "This first act is simply sensational… acquiring a thrilling dynamic, with each new interpretative gesture, every seemingly whimsical detail fully supported by the staging of the scenes and music…" (Opera News)

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Performers: Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Soloists: Robert Gambill, Attila Jun, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Angela Denoke, Renate Behle, Tchina Vaughn, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Wiebke Göetjes
Composer: Richard Wagner
Producer: EuroArts Music International
Location: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2003


Saturday, September 23 at 14:00 CEST | Richard Wagner – Siegfried

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)

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Performers: Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Soloists: Jon Frederic West, Heinz Göhrig, Wolfgang Schöne, Björn Waag, Attila Jun, Gabriela Herrera, Helene Ranada, Lisa Gasteen
Stage director: Jossi Wieler
Video director: Hans Hulscher
Composer: Richard Wagner
Producer: EuroArts Music International
Location: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2003


Saturday, September 23 at 14:00 CEST | Richard Wagner – Götterdämmerung

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)

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Performers: Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Soloists: Albert Bonnema, Roland Bracht, Hernan Iturralde, Franz-Josef Kapellmann, Luana DeVol, Eva-Maria Westbroek
Composer: Richard Wagner
Stage director: Peter Konwitschny
Video director: Hans Hulscher
Location: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2003