At the Berlin State Opera, “Twilight of the Gods” marks the end of “The Ring of the Nibelung” – an extremely ambitious undertaking for any opera house. A musical triumph for all the singers and the conductor Christian Thielemann.
Following on from Siegfried, Twilight of the Gods depicts the final moments of Siegfried – grandson of Wotan, the king of the gods – and fallen Valkyrie, Brünnhilde.
Ultimately, it is the death of the star-crossed lovers that will cleanse the ring of its curse and bring about the destruction of the world. As its name suggests, the fourth and final chapter of the tetralogy concludes with the advent of the twilight of the gods – the apocalypse conceived by Wotan since the beginning of the work.
A climactic finale
Love, betrayal, despair, sacrifice, guilt… in taking Siegfried and Brünnhilde’s love as the basis for the narrative, Twilight of the Gods is perhaps the most human chapter in the whole tetralogy. With its tragic conclusion, the final part of The Ring of the Nibelung channels all the philosophical import of Wagner’s masterpiece.
Heading up this production of Twilight of the Gods are director Dmitri Tcherniakov and conductor Christian Thielemann, who have surrounded themselves with a vocal ensemble of remarkable beauty, including Andreas Schager (Siegfried) and Anja Kampe (Brünnhilde), establishing a magnificent dialogue with the orchestra of the Staatskapelle Berlin in the pit.
Recorded on 9 October at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin.