Seattle Opera is among the pioneering American opera companies that is known to present the most-loved classics from the European repertoire along with the more contemporary works of American operas. It has gained special critical acclaim for giving brilliant performance of Richard Wager’s works and this season its is presenting the Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung show, which is the last of the legendary composer’s cycle of four operas called Der Ring des Nibelungen. It has been conducted by Robert Spano, directed by Stephen Wadsworth with associate directors Tomer Zvulun and Gina Lapinski, and features breathtaking set designs by Thomas Lynch.
Gotterdammerung meaning Twilight of the God, took Wagner twenty-six years to complete, starting with the initial draft of its libretto in 1848, to the finalized version of 1874, and reflects his operatic style and compositional originality blended with leitmotifs. Since the opera is counted as one Wagner’s best pieces and a must-watch for avid theatre-goers, it is no surprise to see why Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung tickets have created such a stir among them.
Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung is part four of Wagner’s Ring cycle, which starts with the three Norns going over the thread of destiny as they recall the swear curse laid on the ring by Alberich. Siegfried who is still quite smitten, gifts the ring to Brunnhilde as symbol of his love just before taking on other beroic quests. Soon enough, he is deceived by King Gunther alongside Hagen, his half-brother and son of Alberich, into really forgetting his affections for Brunnhilde and instead offering her to Gunther as an exchange for the hand of his sister in marriage. Siegfried then visits Brunnhilde in another form, takes the ring form her forcibly and grabs her from the ledge to take her to an ill-planed wedding feast that is ensued with miscommunications, traitorous plotting and accusations. Just when Hagen’s plan for murder is on way, Siegfried recalls the love he felt for Brunnhilde, becoming aware of the truth. She then takes the ring off his finger, and orders the construction of huge funeral pyre only to walk into its flames to unite with him in death. In the end, the river overflows, the ring is recovered by the Rhine daughters, Valhalla burns while the kingdom of gods is completely destroyed. It turns out that the sacrifice Brunnhilde made had not only cleansed the ring of any curses, it had also brought back the natural order.
Seattle Opera, which is soon staging the classic Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung performance, was formed in 1963 by American opera impresario Glynn Ross, who also became the first general director of the company. The Opera’s season is open between August and May, during which time five to six operas are staged with as many as eight to ten times each, often featuring double casts in the main roles so that successive presentations are possible. Since 1983, the current and second general director Speight Jenkins was appointed and as of August 2003, the Opera Company has performed shows in the well-known Marion Oliver McCaw Hall that stands on the site of the previous Seattle Opera House. They do not have an all-time music director. In 2007, it was announced that Asher Fisch was to be their new guest principal conductor. Seattle Opera has gained recognition for its staging of Richard Wagner’s works particularly that of the Ring cycle. In fact, in 1975, it was noted for being the first ever American company to present the cycle in its completion over the time span of one week, a feat that had only been accomplished by Metropolitan Opera in 1939.
Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung is an intense five hours fifteen minutes long show with two intermissions. With Seattle Opera’s incredible orchestra, cast and crew, this Richard Wagner classic is not one to be missed, so get busy booking some Seattle Opera Gotterdammerung tickets, and enjoy the burst of some lush cultural exposure.
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