You are here
Christine Goerke Featured Lyric Opera of Chicago 

“When the downbeat happens, for a few hours, it’s magic,” says Christine Goerke, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s next Brünnhilde

Christine Goerke is one of today’s most sought after opera stars for the roles of Brünnhilde and Elektra, but her massive sound and assortment of colors aren’t limited to these two roles she has come to dominate; she’s equally compelling as Cassandra, or Ortrud, or Turandot, or, well, basically every character she plays! That said, it’s not only Christine’s singing and acting that make her a star – it’s also her story, her tenacity, and her humor. In November, Christine will perform Brünnhilde in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Die Walküre….

Read More

“It’s such epic music,” Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall on being an opera pianist for Wagner’s Das Rheingold

Prior to the Das Rheingold preview night at Minnesota Opera on Thursday, November 10, 2016, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall, one of the two opera pianists for Minnesota Opera’s current production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the prologue in his epic four-opera Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), more commonly known as the Ring Cycle. Jessica Hall is currently in her second season as a Minnesota Opera Resident Artist. She obtained her Graduate Certificate, Master of Music, and…

Read More
Brian Staufenbiel Features 

Brian Staufenbiel’s Das Rheingold – The New Generation of Opera in Action

At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing history in the making – I attended the preview night of the first ever Minnesota Opera production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the prologue in Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). Prior to the final dress rehearsal that evening, I sat down with Brian Staufenbiel, the stage director for the production. Staufenbiel is the Creative Director at Opera Parallèle, a San Francisco-based opera company specializing in cutting-edge productions of…

Read More
Michael Christie Das Rheingold Features 

Maestro Michael Christie on Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold

Maestro Michael Christie has been Music Director of the Minnesota Opera since the 2012 / 2013 season, and since that time he has helped shape the Minnesota Opera into the powerhouse it has become. For the first time in its history, Minnesota Opera is putting on one of the four works from Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or the Ring Cycle). Minnesota Opera patrons will have the privilege to hear Maestro Michael Christie conduct Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the prologue in the four-opera…

Read More
Tristan und Isolde In Review 

Tristan und Isolde @ Metropolitan Opera, Live in HD

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde marked my first experience watching one of the Met’s Live in HD productions, and I’m afraid it may be difficult to return to the stage theater to watch opera having experienced it. The six or so of us in attendance sat in reclining chairs like these: +20

Read More
The Metropolitan Opera Das Rheingold 

Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month

Here is a link to the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s podcast on Wagner’s Das Rheingold. The talk is given by Peter Allen, and it is fantastic. This is a great way to begin learning about the Ring for opera novices, but opera buffs are likely to learn a thing or two themselves. Enjoy! Metropolitan Opera Guild’s podcast on Das Rheingold +10

Read More
Das Rheingold and Wotan Das Rheingold 

5 free resources – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month

One of the things I’ve always found fascinating about opera is the fact that it can be so many different things to different people; for one person, an opera may simply be an opportunity to listen to some gorgeous music. For someone else, the story itself may be the most intriguing element. Yet others may find enjoyment only upon researching and “doing their homework” on the work, digging into the opera’s musical and dramatic themes. I personally derive the greatest pleasure from an opera when I know the work well,…

Read More
Das Rheingold Prelude Das Rheingold Opera of the Month 

Leitmotivs – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month

Since we’re looking at a Wagner opera – Das Rheingold – this month as our Opera of the Month, we need to discuss leitmotivs. By the end of this post, you should have a solid understanding of what a leitmotiv is, who used them, and why they’re useful. A leitmotiv is a recurring musical passage that is associated with a specific person, place, thing, or idea. Most often they are relatively short melodies, but they could also be chord progressions or rhythms. They were central to Richard Wagner’s creative process…

Read More
Laura Wilde Das Rheingold Features Opera of the Month 

“This production shows how the magic works,” Laura Wilde on Lyric Opera’s Das Rheingold

I first met Laura Wilde during our sophomore year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. At St. Olaf, it soon became obvious to everyone who listened to her that she was going to make something of herself in the notoriously competitive world of opera. Unsurprisingly, she’s done just that! Playing Freia in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s latest production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Wilde was gracious enough to answer a few questions about herself and the production for Opera Sense. +40

Read More
Das Rheingold Das Rheingold Opera of the Month 

Overview – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month

The libretto to Das Rheingold was the last one Richard Wagner wrote for Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), but it was the first opera of the cycle that he composed music for. This opera serves as the prologue in his epic Ring tetralogy, with the next three operas being Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Rheingold premiered in Munich in 1869, but it was not until 1876 that it was performed as part of the first complete cycle at the legendary Bayreuth Festspielhaus theater (a theater designed…

Read More