• Monika Rittershaus

Sunday 11. Nov. 2018, 4.00 pm - 9.00 pm | Großes Haus

Richard Wagner

Die Walküre

Erster Tag / „Der Ring des Nibelungen“ | Introduction at 3.20 pm

Wotan wants to create a free hero to win back the ring. However, his experiment with the Wälsungen fails: the god is forced to sacrifice Siegmund, and ultimately also his favourite daughter Brünnhilde.

Director: Claus Guth
Sets and Costumes: Christian Schmidt
Lighting: Michael Bauer
Dramaturge: Hella Bartnig

Premiere: 19.10.2008

Two Breaks of 30 minutes after the first and the second act

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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.

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Wotan fears that Erda’s prophecy will come true: that the end of the gods will come if Alberich once more takes possession of the ring forged from the Rhinegold, the ring which makes its wearer lord of the world. Wotan procreates the twins Sieglinde and Siegmund whose issue shall be free and alone able to capture the ring from the dragon Fafner.

Act I

In a storm Siegmund seeks refuge in Hunding’s hut. Sieglinde brings relief and refreshment to the exhausted Siegmund and as their gaze meets the two feel an immediate attraction. Hunding recognizes in Siegmund his deadly enemy, offers him his hospitality for the night but challenges him to a duel on the following day. Siegmund remembers his father’s promise that should he be ever in great danger and defenceless he would find a sword to protect him. Sieglinde, who has given her husband a sleeping potion, shows Siegmund the sword which a stranger (Wotan) had thrust into a tree during her wedding feast and which can only be drawn out by him for whom it is intended. A storm blows open the door and, illuminated in the moonlight flooding in, the lovers recognize each other as brother and sister. Triumphantly Siegmund draws the sword „Nothung“ from the tree and claims Sieglinde as his bride, rejoicing in the union of the Wälsungs.

Act II

Wotan commands the Valkyrie Brünnhilde – whom Erda has born him to be of service in his farreaching plans – to assist Siegmund in his combat with Hunding. Fricka, angry at the treatment Hunding has received and at the illicit love between Siegmund and Sieglinde, demands that Wotan should renounce the twins. After Fricka has left in triumph, the frustrated god tells the returning Brünnhilde about the theft of the gold and Alberich's curse on it. Brünnhilde is shocked to hear her father, his plans in ruins, order her to fight for Hunding. Siegmund and Sieglinde approach, and as Siegmund watches over his exhausted sister, Brünnhilde announces to him his fate. When, in despair, he resolves to kill himself and his sister, Brünnhilde promises against Wotan’s will, to help him to victory. Hunding discovers the fugitives, and, in combat, Siegmund’s sword is broken in two by Wotan’s spear. Brünnhilde escapes with Sieglinde and the broken sword. Wotan contemptuously fells Hunding with a wave of his hand and leaves to punish Brünnhilde.


Fleeing from Wotan, Brünnhilde and Sieglinde reach the Valkyries and beg for protection against Wotan’s wrath. Brünnhilde prophesies Sieglinde that she will be the mother of the greatest hero – Siegfried – and gives to her Siegmund’s broken sword. Sieglinde continues her flight, and Brünnhilde gives herself up to Wotan. Though he knows that Brünnhilde has only done what he, „the least free of all“, was unable to do he, as a punishment, causes her to fall into a deep sleep. She is to belong to the first man who approaches her. Brünnhilde asks the favour of being protected in sleep by a wall of fire that only the bravest hero can pierce. Full of emotion Wotan takes leave of her. He calls to Loge and a blazing fire springs up. The departing Wotan invokes a spell forbidding the place to anyone who fears his spear.

Venue: Großes Haus, Dammtorstraße 28, 20354 Hamburg
Prices: 7,00 EUR to 119,00 EUR

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