With Das Rheingold, Teatro Real begins Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
Seven performances will be offered between January 17th and February 1st under the stage direction of Robert Carsen, in the consecrated production of the Wagnerian tetralogy of the Cologne Opera, premiered in 2000 and replenished on numerous occasions
Between January 17th and February 1st the Teatro Real will offer 7 performances of The Rhine Gold (Das Rheingold), by Richard Wagner, first of the four operas that make up the ring El Nibelungo, which will be presented throughout of four successive seasons, with musical direction by Pablo Heras-Casado and stage direction by Robert Carsen.
The production, premiered in 2000 at Ópera de Colonia and replaced on several occasions, translates the visionary and devastating allegory of Wagner in the real world, in which moral degeneration leads to the devastation of the planet and the extinction of humanity.
Wagner worked 25 years to translate into his Tetralogy the most complete and complex expression of the feelings, passions and instincts of the human being through an allegorical entanglement inspired by Nordic, Germanic mythology and medieval tales. For the accomplishment of this great company ─4 operas and almost 16 hours of scenic music─ he wrote the libretto, composed the score and had a theater erected in Bayreuth so that his ‘total work of art’ would arrive in optimum conditions to the spectator.
He also left a huge amount of notes, booklets and letters that nurture since then the thousands of studies, interpretations and exegesis of the Tetralogy that keep alive its inexhaustible dialectical spring.
Structured like the ancient Greek dramas – three tragedies and a satire -, the Das Rheingold occupies a unique place as an explanatory prologue to the saga that will unfold in The Valkyrie, the origin of the hero, Siegfried, his glorification, and The sunset of the gods, his death and final cataclysm.
Although the libretto of Das Rheingold was born after the other three operas, his score was the first, and in it Wagner masterfully presents the dozens of leitmotiv (conductive motifs) that will appear with all kinds of metamorphoses in the subsequent days, growing in complexity and debugging. Throughout almost two and a half hours, the music flows without interruption through a dense network of harmonic textures and intertwined themes in which the orchestra, with more than 110 musicians, has an active part in the conceptual and narrative discourse of the epic.
Das Rheingold is also distinguished from the corpus of the other three operas by its accelerated dramatic rhythm, its humor, cynicism and its allegorical rather than human content. In it the idyllic relationship of man with nature is broken, when the gold that illuminated the waters of the Rhine becomes, under the cold gaze of reason, a valuable and coveted object, unleashing the power struggles that will keep man from love, of nature and primordial harmony.
Robert Carsen, who at the Teatro Real has directed Dialogues des carmélites (2006), Katia Kabanová (2008), Salome (2010) and Iphigénie en Tauride (2011), places the viewer in front of a polluted world, which we are destroying together, protected by a perverse pyramid of stratified power, dominated by the excessive ambition of the strongest, richest and most powerful.
Pablo Heras-Casado, first guest conductor of the Teatro Real, will direct his second Wagnerian title, after the success of his reading of Elerranteholandesa, with stage direction by Alex Ollè (La Fura dels Baus), in 2017. It will be his eighth opera at the head of the Orchestra of the Royal Theater.
The seven performances of Das Rheingold will be offered between January 17th and February 1st with a choral cast led by Greer Grimsley (Wotan) and Samuel Youn (Alberich), seconded by Ain Anger (Fasolt), Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Fafner) ), Raimund Nolte (Donner), David Butt Philip (Froh), Joseph Kaiser (Loge), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Mime), Sarah Connolly (Fricka), Sophie Bevan (Freia), Ronnita Miller (Erda), Isabella Gaudí (Woglinde) , Maria Miró (Wellgunde) and Claudia Huckle (Flosshilde).
The ring of the Nibelung will be offered at the Teatro Real for the second time since its reopening in 1997. The four titles have been presented between 2001 and 2004 in a co-production of the Teatro Real with the Semperoper of Dresden, with musical direction by Peter Schneider and direction of scene of Willy Decker. After the conceptual and symbolic reading of the German director, will come, 15 years later, the direct and implacable approach of Robert Carsen and Patrick Kinmonth, of disturbing actuality.
Around Das Rheingold different activities have been programmed. At the Teatro Real, Approaches, Todos a la Gayarre and two training courses. In Museum of Romanticism, children’s workshop Gold of the Rhine and the curse, and a lecture by Miguel Ángel González Barrio; and at the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, a themed tour titled A Wagnerian Art Collector.