Wagner’s epic cycle concludes with acts of betrayal, murder, vengeance, and, finally, the destruction of the world. Christine Goerke plays Brünnhilde, whose heroic self-sacrifice paves the way for humankind’s redemption and rebirth. Andreas Schager and Stefan Vinke share the role of the hero Siegfried, and Eric Owens is Hagen. Philippe Jordan conducts.
Production a gift of Ann Ziff and the Ziff Family, in memory of William Ziff
Revival a gift of Ann Ziff
In collaboration with Ex Machina
Languages sung in Götterdämmerung
Title languages displayed for Götterdämmerung
Met Titles In
Timeline for the show, Götterdämmerung
Estimated Run Time
5 hrs 32 mins
Acts I & II
World Premiere: Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, 1876. A culmination of the dramatic and musical ideas set forth in the previous three works of the Ring, the final opera of Wagner’s cycle is also a complete and monumental theatrical journey of its own. The central conflict of the Ringremains the same over the course of four operas, but the protagonists change. In Götterdämmerung, the ring that the Nibelung dwarf Alberich made out of the stolen Rhinegold continues to rule the destinies of humans, including Alberich’s own son Hagen. Only Brünnhilde, once a warrior goddess and now Siegfried’s mortal wife, has the perspective and wisdom to grasp the full significance of the situation—her journey toward the ultimate sacrifice that will absolve heaven and earth from its primal corruption is the great drama of this opera.
Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the complex, controversial creator of music–drama masterpieces that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. Born in Leipzig, Germany, he was an artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about music and theater.
VIDEO IMAGE ARTIST
REVIVAL STAGE DIRECTORS
J. Knighten Smit, Paula Williams
The Ring is set in a mythological world, beginning, in Das Rheingold, beneath the earth and above it. Throughout the action, the setting moves inexorably toward the human dimension. By the time we reach Götterdämmerung, the focus has clearly shifted: The gods do not appear as characters, and they no longer interact directly with humans but are referred to in reminiscences and represented by altars and symbols.
The musical ideas set forth in the first three parts of the Ring find their full expression in this opera. Götterdämmerung contains several of the one-on-one confrontations typical of the Ring, but a considerable amount of the vocal writing departs from the forms established in the previous operas. The first appearance of true ensemble singing in the trio at the end of Act II and the use of a chorus signify a shift from the rarified world of the gods to an entirely human perspective. Götterdämmerung also presents unique challenges for the lead tenor and soprano, culminating in a cathartic 15-minute narrative by Brünnhilde that is among the longest and most powerful unbroken vocal solos in the operatic repertory.