Published 20 November 2019
The colossal, four-year effort to produce Wagner's Ring Cycle ("Der Ring des Nibelungen") in Gothenburg now enters its second phase. Premiere for "Die Walküre" 1 December.
Last autumn we saw how the journey towards "Götterdämmerung" began with the cycle's prologue, "Das Rheingold". On Sunday, 1 December it's time for the premiere of the second opera in the cycle, Die Walküre – a complex saga about love, betrayal and heroism.
“'Die Walküre' examines the problematic contradiction between the laws we need, and the freedom we crave. Wotan’s power relies on rules and regulations, underpinned by a multitude of contracts and agreements. His authority, however, has come at a heavy cost, both for him and for the world: natural resources have been plundered, the World Ash Tree wounded. The crisis requires new thinking and behavior: Wotan needs a free, unruly, and disobedient hero who will not bow to convention. It also requires a generational shift. It is not hard to see a contemporary analogy, as the older generation leaves their children to avert the disaster they have caused”, says Director Stephen Langridge.
Anders Lorentzson will once again perform as the almighty god Wotan, while his wife Fricka will be played by Katarina Karnéus. In 2018, Katarina was appointed Court Singer and also won the prestigious Opera Award from Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden's national newspaper). AnnLouice Lögdlund performs as Brünnhilde, Elizabeth Strid takes on Sieglinde, and as Siegmund we again see Brenden Gunnell, who performed as Loge in "Das Rheingold".
The entire cycle will be led by Evan Rogister, Principal Conductor of Washington National Opera, USA.
“It is an enormous pleasure to be able to continue the immense artistic journey of Wagner’s Ring together with the exceptional teams at the Göteborg Opera, artistic, technical, and throughout the company. Alongside Wagner’s most emotionally direct music, his most human characters and driven narrative it has made directing 'Die Walküre' one of the most satisfying experiences of my career”, says Stephen Langridge.
The tetralogy – "Das Rheingold" ("The Rhinegold"), "Die Walküre" ("The Valkyrie"), Siegfried and "Götterdämmerung" ("Twilight of the Gods") has influenced the entire history of music and how we perceive the performing arts. The musical narrative spans three generations and four operas with a total running time of more than 15 hours. From 2018 onwards, the Göteborg Opera will present the city's first ever Ring Cycle – one opera being performed each year, and the final opera scheduled for 2021. Directing the Ring Cycle is Göteborg Opera’s former Artistic Director Stephen Langridge, who as of summer 2019 is the new Artistic Director at Glyndebourne. Stephen will return throughout the production to direct all parts of the cycle. Award-winning English stage designer Alison Chitty is responsible for the set design and costumes.
Environmental conservation has long been a priority for the Göteborg Opera, and the house is regarded as a trailblazer in the arts industry as a result. This four-year project is a nationally- and internationally acclaimed testbed for the sustainable production of performing arts. Scenic backdrops made of waste wood, fake flames, plant-based costume dyes as well as homemade, eco- and skin-friendly cosmetics are just a few examples of what the Göteborg Opera has come up with. The environment is a central theme throughout the Ring Cycle. In the prologue "Das Rheingold", Alberich assaults nature by stealing gold from the Rhine's riverbed, instigating a downward spiral through murder, exploitation and destruction.
And yes, it is in "Die Walküre" that we’ll hear the famous "Ritt der Walküren" ("Ride of the Valkyries") — often used as film soundtracks, such as in "Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford Coppola. On 17 May 2018, the Göteborg Opera’s roof nearly lifted when the "Ritt der Walküren" was performed as the grand finale to the epic opera gala "Birgit Nilsson 100 Years". That "Ride of the Valkyries" was sung by eight of the world’s leading sopranos – AnnLouice Lögdlund and Elisabet Strid were two of them.
Premiere Sunday 1 December at 3:00pm.
Musical drama in three acts by Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883). Running time is 5 hours with 2 intermissions. Sung in German and surtitled in Swedish and English.
1 December 2019 – 19 January 2020 on the Main Stage.
Get ready for "Die Walküre":
- A film screening of "Das Rheingold" which was recorded during the 2018 performance run. Showing on four occasions on the Small Stage. Admission is free, but a ticket is required. For more information, go to: https://en.opera.se/forestallningar/filmvisning-av-rhenguldet-2019-2020/
Premiere on 1 December:
- "Who's a hero?" – a new work produced and performed by young people, based on the theme of Die Walküre. Small Stage at 2:25pm. Free admission, running time 30 minutes.
- Jesper Waldersten’s award-winning series of original paintings depicting the Ring Cycle can be seen and admired in the foyer.
- Virtual reality film experience from "Das Rheingold". Visit our VR-headset stand in the foyer, where you will be taken on a unique journey straight onto the Main Stage and down into the orchestra pit! A 9-minute long amazing experience! Recorded during last year's "Das Rheingold".
- The premiere will be broadcast live on Sveriges Radio
For more details about the teams and performers: https://en.opera.se/forestallningar/valkyrian-2019-2020/
For review tickets and press enquiries, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +46(0)31 10 80 35 or +46(0)31 10 80 68
Press images of the performance will be available at https://en.opera.se/press/bilder/ from the afternoon of Monday 25 November onwards.