A few days ago I was thoroughly entertained and moved by the last opera in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods), played to the world live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York. The three previous operas, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre(The Valkyrie), and Siegfried had been amazing also. It was, therefore, with great anticipation I took my seat, not at the Met, but a continent away in a little theatre in my home town. Where else, for less than twenty dollars, could you witness the unfolding of the final stages of a story built on the Norse Sagas, when listeners of times long past were reminded, by example, of the need for Truth and Honour in all actions.
It was the role of the gold, however, that caught my attention; it wasn’t just a precious metal, but the distilled essence of Earth, sacred, mystical and magic, and it was stolen from the Rhine Maidens by the dwarf Alberich, who sought to avail himself of Earth’s natural feminine energy, and further his own ends by trapping that power within a ring. In so doing he disturbed the natural balances that control the duality of our reality, and set off a chain reaction of greed, malice and deceit. Wotan, the King of the Gods, also coveted that ring, for with it he would not have to share power with his wife, Frica, who was the Earth Goddess.
It’s a long story, one that took Wagner twenty-six years to meld into his Ring Cycle, and no matter what the Gods and heroes were doing, the real story was always the passage of the ring back to its place of origin, the Rhine River, and the return of balance to the world. The ring never sings a note, but all those who do are committed throughout the story, whether they know or not, to follow the ring’s purpose, and many die in the doing of it.
Once there existed a pact between the Gods, heroes and men, but when the Gods and heroes were gone, men were left to stagger on alone, without wise counsel, and a proper understanding of their relationship to the Earth and the Heavens.
Sacredness, mysticism and magic in compelling motion, high drama and great sound, make for great theatre, and the Ring Cycle currently underway at the Met, is one of the best in recent times, to my mind.
All of that drama the singers and the orchestra, the set designers and stage crews had to grapple with minute by minute. They sweated blood and tears over the entire time it took to get the four operas done. They were very successful, and audiences around the world will hold in their memories and hearts the wonderful experience they were treated to.



  1. Fions Kokich says:

    Thanks for that Kristin, what a great synopsis. I’d like to watch that now!

  2. Gold! Very nicely done. Makes me want to go right there and be a part of it all. I think I’ll send this one around a bit.

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