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Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”
Siegfried is the third of the four music dramas that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. It premiered at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on August 16, 1876, as part of the first complete performance of The Ring cycle.
Elements of the plot of Siegfried come from a variety of sources.
In a letter to Uhlig, Wagner recounted The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was, based on a fairy-tale of the Brothers Grimm. It concerns a boy so stupid he had never learned to be afraid. Wagner wrote that the boy and Siegfried are the same character. The boy is taught to fear by his wife, and Siegfried learns it when he discovers the sleeping Brünnhilde.
Siegfried's ability in Act Two to see through Mime's deceitful words seems to have been derived from a 19th-century street theatre version of the story of Faust.
Some elements of the story are derived from legends of Sigurd, notably the Völsunga saga and the Thidrekssaga. Scene 1 of Act 3 (between The Wanderer and Erda) has a parallel in the Eddic poem Baldrs draumar, in which Odin questions a völva about the future of the gods.
Siegfried – Lauritz Melchior
Brunnhilde – Kirsten Flagstad
Wanderer – Friedrich Schorr
The Metropolitan Opera
Artur Bodasnzky – conductor
Recorded live January 30, 1937