The Ring of the Nibelung - Twilight of the Gods


Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

The third day
A scenic festival in three days and an eve; First performed on 17th August, 1876 in Bayreuth; Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 6th October, 1985

In German with German surtitles

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Cast

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Cast

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle
Donald Runnicles (12.01.2014)
Director Götz Friedrich
Stage-design, Costume-design Peter Sykora
Choir Conductor William Spaulding
Siegfried Lance Ryan
Gunther Markus Brück
Alberich Eric Owens
Hagen Hans-Peter König
Brünnhilde Evelyn Herlitzius
Susan Bullock (12.01.2014)
Gutrune Heidi Melton
Waltraute Anne Sofie von Otter
1st Norn Ronnita Miller
2nd Norn Ulrike Helzel
3rd Norn Heidi Melton
Woglinde Martina Welschenbach
Wellgunde Ulrike Helzel
Floßhilde Dana Beth Miller
Chorus Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Orchestra Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
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“This RING was produced in Berlin in 1984 and 1985. The Orwellian year of “1984” had long become obsolete. We had not only reached it, gone way beyond! But this was not the only reason why the concept that had functioned so well in London was to be, and simply had to be, comprehensively overhauled. The Berlin “Time Tunnel” ultimately intended nothing less than to obey the words of Gurnemanz, Wagner’s words to Parsifal:”Du siehst, mein Sohn, zum Raum wird hier die Zeit ( As you can see, my son, here space becomes time).” In this tunnel we sometimes managed to transform the different times, the history of the time that the RING shapes and depicts into a definite event or play in a given space. And we could find and say more with it: all that has been, can be again. And all that will be, has already been, maybe different, but certainly similar. The beginning is the end, and the end will always be another beginning. This idea became a concrete image in the initial scene of RHEINGOLD and in the final scene of GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. The disguised Gods are sitting on the stage in their shrouds looking like lemurs. And this image works for a minute and a half, without any music, before the e minor sets in. This was the greatest apprehension of all: I really assumed that the Berliners would bring on their catcalls after ten seconds, “start playing! Where are the orchestra lights! Has a tuba gone missing, or what?”, or something like that. But it was incredible: they did work, these one-and-a-half minutes of absolute silence. And into this silence, this tortuous, impossible silence, the first sound fell. The music developed in its construction of sound steps, harmonies, melody and rhythm – the creation of European music, if you will, at the beginning of the entire RING. The Gods arose and began to play the play, possibly as if they had played it often in the Past and as if they ever want to gain new experiences with each re-enactment. Isn’t this the actual intention of the theatre? When at the ending of GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG everything has been burnt and destroyed, when the Rhine in the shape of a gigantic white cloth covers all of it, they have gone back to sitting there, as in the beginning, ready to play their parts in the play once again, perhaps ever and again. Are we, while they are doing this, while they continue to do this, are we getting any wiser, any richer? The director leaves the reply to his question to you.” (Götz Friedrich, 1985)

“Initially the Norns are seated between red cords that look as if they were telephone cables mad to seem archaic. Siegfried’s leaving Brünnhilde optically corresponds with the last image in Siegfried: white ashes are strewn over the stage, like a large nuptial bed that is now being abandoned. The world of the Gibichungs is shaped by glass pillars of distorting lenses that signalize the inversion and awry-ness of everything human in the late days of civilization, as in the London concept. Siegfried enters such a world looking like Dustin Hoffmann, the “Midnight Cowboy”. It really doesn’t matter whether the potion of forgetfulness has actually been mixed for him. Siegfried, mirroring his Grandfather’s hopes, has already been stigmatized upon his stepping into this world.” (Götz Friedrich, 1990)

“Götz Friedrich was always challenged while dealing with Time. He anticipated the RING as a perspective on the turn of the millennium. The time phenomenon is part of his concept, the structure behind it is the score. It has rarely been the case in the past twenty years that the RING was produced in such a thoroughly musical manner, and in spite of the unconventional setting, so true to the original work. In GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG Götz Friedrich in some phases realizes the apotheosis of the music on stage, which is nothing else than the Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik (the birth of Tragedy from the spirit of Music), as Nietzsche evoked it.” (W. Bronnenmeyer, Nürnberger Zeitung)

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Accompanying Programme

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Accompanying Programme

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance