Robert Lepage’s remarkable Met Opera production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, the 2013 Grammy Award Winner for Best Opera Recording, is now available as individual DVDs. Siegfried features Bryn Terfel, Jay Hunter Morris, and Deborah Voigt, with Fabio Luisi conducting.
Aided by his ingenious librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart approached his operatic retelling of the Don Juan myth from a point of view that is neither tragic nor entirely comic, but rather lighthearted, urbane, and ironic. We follow the title character and his earthy comic sidekick, Leporello, through a series of encounters that begins with a fatal duel, moves back and forth between the humorous and the sentimental, and ends with the protagonist being dragged down to hell.
James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of this epic comedy, back at the Met for the first time in eight years.
Robert Lepage’s landmark staging of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, unveiled over the course of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons, was the first new Met production of the complete cycle in more than 20 years. Combining state-of-the-art technology with traditional storytelling, it brings Wagner’s vision into the 21st century. With Die Walküre, the story of the Ring enters the world of human beings. Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek are Siegmund and Sieglinde, the twin children of Wotan, sung by Bryn Terfel. Deborah Voigt stars in the title role of the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Wotan’s favorite daughter. James Levine conducts.
In the depths of the Rhine, the three Rhinemaidens guard the Rhinegold, a treasure of immeasurable value. The Nibelung dwarf Alberich is dazzled by the sight of it. The girls explain that whoever wins the gold and forges it into a ring will gain power over the world, but must first renounce love. Frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts to catch one of the girls, Alberich curses love and steals the gold. Wotan, lord of the gods, is reproached by his wife Fricka: he has promised to give Freia, goddess of youth, to the giants Fasolt and Fafner in return for their building a fortress for the gods. When the giants demand their reward, Loge, the god of fire, suggests an alternative payment: the ring Alberich has forged from the Rhinegold, and his other treasures. The giants agree, and Wotan and Loge leave for the Nibelungs’ underground home.