Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Wagner's Das Rheingold

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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Michael Volle — Baritone (Wotan)

Gerhard Siegel — Tenor (Loge)

Samuel Youn — Bass-baritone (Alberich)

Thomas Ebenstein — Tenor (Mime)

Wiebke Lehmkuhl — Contralto (Erda)

Stephen Milling — Bass (Fasolt)

Mikhail Petrenko — Bass (Fafner)

Jamie Barton — Mezzo-soprano (Fricka)

Thomas Lehman — Bass-baritone (Donner)

Christiane Karg — Soprano (Freia)

Erika Baikoff — Soprano (Woglinde)

Iris van Wijnen — Mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde)

Maria Barakova — Mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde)

Issachah Savage — Tenor (Froh)

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra — Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin — Conductor

Program notes

Fasten your seatbelts and join the prodigious Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and a cast of operatic all-stars including Michael Volle, Samuel Youn, and Wiebke Lehmkuhl, in this unique and thrilling live concert!

Das Rheingold is the first volume of Wagner's epic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen (though the final libretto of the four to be written). A depiction of the decline of the gods, led by Wotan, this prologue recounts the theft of the titular gold of the Rhine, first by the dwarf Alberich, lord of the Nibelungs—and then by Wotan himself, who steals it from Alberich in order to help pay for Valhalla, the grandiose palace he has enlisted the giants to build as a symbol of his supremacy. A devastated Alberich places a curse on his golden ring, vowing that it will bring misery to all until it is returned to him…

The action of this iconic masterpiece unfolds—without interruption—through the exposition, recurrence, and recombination of leitmotifs, each of which evokes a particular character, situation, or feeling. Their shifting modulations eventually give way to a blur of tonality, a bold and intoxicating chromaticism. Wagner repurposed his disparate sources—especially the Scandinavian Eddas, which recounted the adventures of Norse gods—to realize a profoundly personal work, imbued with his overarching philosophy.

Photo: Yannick Nézet-Séguin © Jan Regan

Yannick Nézet-Séguin appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.

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