From 5 to 15 October 2013
The « Ring » : a challenge for any opera house.
Major work of repertoire, Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner cycle of four operas, is designed as a festival stage in a prologue (Der Rheingold) and 3 days (Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung).
richard wagner european orchestra
choir of opéra de Dijon
musical direction Daniel Kawka
staging Laurent Joyeux
drama & staging collaboration Stephen Sazio
staging assistant Yves Lenoir
Scenography Damien Caille-Perret
scenography assistant Roberta Chiarito
costumes design Claudia Jenatsch
lighting Jean-Pascal Pracht
VOCAL COACHes Elsa Lambert | Emmanuel Olivier
CHOIR DIRECTOR Mihály Menelaos Zeke
PIANO ACCOMPANIST Maurizio Prosperi
The Ring of the Nibelung tetralogy is a lyric adventure without equal. Across the immense fresco of its four operas, it relates the eternal battle of power and greed against love and liberty. Wagner draws his deep inspiration from Nordic myths, its gods, giants, dwarves and heroes, but he does so the better to describe his own era – our era – and thus reveal that which is purely human, that which always and everywhere touches and illuminates us.
Rare are the opportunities for any opera house to bring this masterpiece to the stage in its continuity, given the sheer scale of the task, which requires the prolonged mobilization and energy of massive forces. In this bicentennial year of Richard Wagner’s birth, the Dijon Opera has taken up the challenge and after several years of preparation today offers us the chance to experience the most extraordinary dramatic epic ever penned. And to respect Wagner’s wish that everyone be able to share in this exceptional event, we have chosen to present the cycles over two consecutive days, each concentrating on two operas, thus favouring the unity of a single narrative flow and making the extraordinary scope of the score accessible without sacrificing anything of its vocal and orchestral splendour: The orchestral forces – 80 to 100 musicians in the pit as the works – and cuts in the partition preserving the unity and strength of the dramatic work. It is with a true Festival of three cycles – within which you may constitute your own cycle according to your desires – that we open the 2013-14 season.
“My children, bring forth the new!” It is with these words that Wagner concluded his first series of performances at Bayreuth in 1876, he who, contrary to the idealized image retained by posterity, was like all his generation avid for the new and for creation, renewal and revolution. The demands of art remain faithful to the living flame and not to the dying embers, and so it is that the Dijon Opera has chosen to go deeper in its study of the work – the examination that must precede any production – and has commissioned Brice Pauset, composer in residence, to create two dramatic prologues, one for each day, that question Wagner’s musical material and the role he plays for a composer today.
Daniel Kawka, whose magnificent work at Dijon on Tristan und Isolde in 2009 won the enthusiastic praise of the general public and the critics alike, conducts a stellar cast, including soprano Sabine Hogrefe, the most absolute Brünnhilde of our day; steeped in the subtle art of the lied, the baritone Thomas Bauer takes on the role of Wotan; and Daniel Brenna, the dream heldentenor, whose youth and power have ignited the British and German stages, reserves his first French Siegfried for Dijon. Together, they carry Laurent Joyeux’ poetic, dreamlike and humanist staging.