My love for the Ring and Gotterdammerung is a mystery even to me.
My first time “seeing it” was on a DVD from the library. It had to be returned that day and I had to fast forward through a lot of it… I guess I totally missed the point.
Then, I saw the machine version from the Met. I was very moved by that fairly pared back production. I felt like I could die fulfilled now that I had seen a whole Ring, but it made me want to live to see it again.
That’s the thing about this music… It’s such a deep experience somehow... mysterious as to why.
The following Live in HD was a lovely bel canto opera that I couldn’t help but feel was a shallow little love tale after that Gotterdammerung experience.
But most of my memories of Gotterdammerung are in the car alone where I can raise the volume and block out everything but the music.
Unfortunately, it developed that as soon as Brunnhilde calls Grane I dissolve into uncontrollable tears. The fire, the water, the ravens and Rhinemaids, the redemption of love… It’s more than I can take.
Let’s just say I’m not allowed to listen to Gotterdammerung when I am driving anymore…
Also I just fall apart when Brunnhilde and Siegfried say goodbye in Act 1 because I know they will never properly see each other again (Spoilers)
Reasons why people won’t watch Gotterdammerung:
- “I haven’t seen the rest of the Ring” – No worries, the Norns will catch you up in the first 10 minutes.
- “It’s Long” - It may be long but it flies by compared to some operas I could mention. It does not have repetition. The story is always moving forward. In 20 minutes of Gotterdammerung a lot of things have happened or been said. In 20 minutes of some baroque operas, they can still be singing the same lines over and over.
- “I don’t have time” - Ok Valid point. If this is the case, catch up on your synopsis and just do act 3.
- “I don’t like Wagner” - Well. Can’t be fixed I suppose.
Need to catch up on the plot? Check out the Gotterdammerung Bracelet!