Tuesday 29. May. 2018, 7.30 pm - 10.00 pm |
The Rhinemaidens are lounging on a huge bed; in the attic, Wotan is tinkering with his model of the world; and from his heating cellar, Alberich tries to wrest power and become the ruler of the world. Director Claus Guth and set designer Christian Schmidt stage the “Preliminary Evening” of Wagner’s “Ring” with a healthy dose of humour, but without neglecting the dimensions of the myth.
Director: Claus Guth
Sets and Costumes: Christian Schmidt
Lighting: Wolfgang Göbbel
Dramaturgy: Hella Bartnig
In German with German surtitles
The Zeit Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius and the Foundation for the Support of the Hamburg State Opera are main supporters of the production.
The three Rhine Maidens are guarding the Rhinegold hidden at the bottom of the Rhine. Alberich, a Nibelung, approaches them, but they mock him because of his ugliness.
Suddenly the golden sun begins to shine. Without realizing the significance of what they are doing, the Rhine Maidens divulge the secret of the gold: only he who renounces love can receive the magical power to seize the gold and forge a ring out of it which will endow him with absolute power. Filled with the longing for power, Alberich curses love. He steals the gold and disappears with it to Nibelheim.
The giants Fasolt and Fafner have built Valhalla, a castle for the gods. As its price they have demanded the goddess Freia. Wotan refuses to give up the goddess, since she alone tends the golden apples from which the gods receive their eternal youth. As the giants prepare to take her by force, the gods Donner and Froh intervene and protect her. Only the cunning Loge can offer a solution: the treasure of the Nibelungs can be used to save Freia. Again Wotan refuses, as he himself wishes to take possession of the hoard. Freia is taken away by the giants, and the gods lose their youth and power. Wotan and Loge descend to Nibelheim.
Mime, Alberich´s brother, has forged a magic helmet which makes its wearer invisible and gives him the power to assume any shape or form. Alberich dons the helmet, becomes invisible and forces Mime and the other Nibelungs to do his bidding. Wotan and Loge come upon Mime, who does not recognize them and who bewails his fate. Alberich has already forged a ring from the gold. In order to demonstrate his power to Wotan and Loge he changes into a serpent, and then into a toad. Wotan takes advantage of the opportunity to seize him. The defenceless Alberich is taken captive and brought to Valhalla. – Wotan demands the Nibelungs‘ hoard as the price of his freedom, and Alberich is forced to produce the treasure from out of the depths. He must also give up the magic helmet, and Wotan takes the ring from him. Alberich places a curse upon the ring: it shall bring disaster to whoever wears it until he himself is its owner once again.
The giants return with Freia and demand that the treasure be massed together until it covers Freia’s whole form. Loge is compelled to give up the magic helmet. Erda appears to warn Wotan against keeping the ring, which he then throws to the hoard. Fasolt takes it and Fafner slays him; Alberich’s curse has been fulfilled for the first time. Fafner gathers up the hoard and departs. Donner illuminates the heavens with a storm. The gods receive their youth and power once more. Valhalla shines with a glistening light and the gods make their way to their castle. Only Loge remains behind. In the depths the Rhine Maidens lament the loss of their gold.
Venue: Großes Haus, Dammtorstraße 28, 20354 Hamburg
Prices: 6,00 EUR to 97,00 EUR