GP at the Met: Die Walküre

About the Opera

Sunday, August 11 at 12:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Season 13 of Great Performances at the Met continues Sunday, August 11 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with Wagner’s epic drama Die Walküre, the second opera in the composer’s four-opera “Ring Cycle,” Der Ring des Nibelungen. Christine Goerke stars as the willful warrior Brünnhilde, alongside Stuart Skelton and Eva-Maria Westbroek as twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, Jamie Barton as Fricka, Günther Groissböck as Hunding, and Greer Grimsley as Wotan. Philippe Jordan conducts.

Set in mythological times, Robert Lepage’s production begins with Siegmund being pursued by enemies during a storm and taking cover in Sieglinde’s home. The two instantly feel an attraction to each other that is interrupted by Sieglinde’s husband Hunding, a kinsman of Siegmund’s enemies, who proclaims that he and Siegmund will fight to the death in the morning. Siegmund calls on his father Wälse for the sword he was once promised, then vows to free Sieglinde from her forced marriage when she confesses her unhappiness. After Siegmund reveals his father’s identity, Sieglinde realizes she is his twin sister. Despite the revelation, Siegmund claims Sieglinde as his bride and gets the sword.

In the high mountains, Wotan, leader of the gods, tells his daughter, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, that she must defend his mortal son Siegmund in battle with Hunding. However, Wotan’s wife Fricka, the goddess of marriage, insists that Wotan must defend Hunding’s marriage against Siegmund, otherwise the god will lose his power for not enforcing the law. With his plan in ruins, Wotan orders Brünnhilde to fight for Hunding, leaving her in shock. Brünnhilde appears to Siegmund in a vision, telling him he will soon die and ordering him to go to Valhalla. He replies that he will not leave Sieglinde and threatens to kill himself and his bride if his sword has no power against Hunding. Now at a crossroads, Brünnhilde must decide whether to defy her father Wotan and help Siegmund, or let him die. Deborah Voigt—who starred in as Brünnhilde in the Met’s premiere of Lepage’s production in 2011—is program host.

Notable Talent:
Christine Goerke – Brünnhilde
Stuart Skelton – Siegmund
Eva-Maria Westbroek – Sieglinde
Greer Grimsley – Wotan
Jamie Barton – Fricka
Günther Groissböck – Hunding
Deborah Voigt– host

Noteworthy Facts:

  • The 1957 animated short What’s Opera, Doc?, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros. Cartoons, borrowed heavily from Die Walküre. One of the most beloved of all their cartoons, the short was voted No. 1 in the book “The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals” (1994).
  • In 2012, Great Performances at the Met aired Robert Lepage’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen alongside the Susan Froemke documentary Wagner’s Dream. In 1983, Great Performances aired Patrice Chereau’s production of the epic opera conducted by Pierre Boulez from the Bayreuth Festival, and in 1990, Live from the Met (the precursor Great Performances at the Met) presented Otto Schenk’s Metropolitan Opera production.

 Run time: 4 hours

Production Credits:
Philippe Jordan – Conductor
Robert Lepage – Production
Carl Fillion – Set Designer
Etienne Boucher – Lighting Designer
François St-Aubin – Costume Designer

For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. David Frost is Music Producer. Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

Underwriters:

Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and public television viewers.

 

About the Met Print

Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The Metropolitan Opera is one of America’s leading performing arts organizations and a vibrant home for the world’s most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers. The company presents more than 200 performances each season of a wide variety of operas, ranging from early masterpieces to contemporary works. In recent years, the Met has launched many initiatives designed to make opera more accessible, most prominently the Live in HD series of cinema transmissions, which dramatically expands the Met audience by allowing select performances to be seen in more than 2,200 theaters in more than 70 countries around the world.

About WNET Print

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