“Siegfried” condensed…

February 27, 2018


Conceived out of the year of failed revolutions – 1848 – Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876) is a fusion of drama and epic narratives forged in a cultural hearth of shifting ideologies. Wotan disguised like an old man, becomes the Wanderer. Mime twists plots to obtain the ring of power created by his brother. Siegfried returns from his wanderings in the forest with a wild bear in tow, and immediately breaks the new sword. Mime has raised Siegfried as a foster child. Similar to The Fool, Siegfried complains to Mime that he has never learned the meaning of fear. Siegfried arrives, and the Wanderer questions the youth. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.


Mime despairs as he imagines the ferocity of the dragon, Fafner. The Wanderer also arrives at the entrance to Fafner’s cave, where Mime’s brother Alberich keeps vigil. A forest bird sings to Siegfried of a woman sleeping on a rock surrounded by magic fire. Siegfried, unaware that intimacy brings vulnerability, wonders if he will learn to comprehend fear from this woman, and follows the bird to the rock. Siegfried, confronted by the Wanderer, does not recognize him as his grandfather, and insolently responds before continuing on the path towards Brünnhilde’s rock. The Wanderer blocks Siegfried, but the youth only mocks him, laughing at his floppy hat and his missing eye. Siegfried breaks the Wanderer’s spear, the symbol of Wotan’s authority, with a blow from his magical blade, Nothung. Wotan calmly gathers up the pieces and vanishes. Siegfried passes through the ring of fire, emerging on Brünnhilde’s rock. At first, he perceives the sleeping armored figure to be a man. However, as he removes the armor, he discovers a woman beneath. She is the first woman he has ever seen, and at last Siegfried understands the power of fear. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Old Man Rhine

The Rhine River as an old man knows what starts in the River, is fated to return to the River. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Another grassroots production of the transient Trade Wind Opera Company, where even the Wanderer looses his hat.


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