Good morning, opera lovers! Take a little trip to Valhalla with me.
This is the opening of scene 2 of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the prologue in Der Ring des Nibelungen (often referred to as “the Ring cycle”). We meet Wotan and his wife Fricka for the first time in this scene as they wake up to find that their new castle has been built by the giants Fasolt and Fafner. This is also the first time we hear the magnificent Valhalla leitmotiv, relatively short musical passages that represent specific people, places, or ideas. The use of leitmotivs is not limited to Wagner, but ask any opera lover about leitmotivs, and the first word out of her mouth will likely be “Wagner.”
Operagoers living in the Midwest will be pleased to learn that they have the opportunity to attend two exciting productions of this work this season, one by Lyric Opera of Chicago in October and the other by the Minnesota Opera in November.