The Valkyrie, performed at the Opera of Stuttgart under the direction of Lothar Zagrozek, the first day of the Ring, divests itself of all the Wagnerian clichés.
"Four Operas, four directors." It was as a response to this original artistic idea that Wagner's Tetralogy was produced in 1999-2000 on the stage of the Stuttgart Opera under the direction of the Austrian conductor Lothar Zagrosek and was later filmed in 2002-2003. The Rhinegold (the Prologue) was entrusted to Joachim Schlömer, The Valkyrie to Christof Nel, Siegfried to Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, and lastly the last day of the Ring, the Twilight of the Gods to Perter Konwitschny.
After the choreographer-dancer Joachim Schlömer (The Rhinegold), it was a man from Stuttgart, Christof Nel, who directed The Valkyrie. A weighty honour since, of the four works of the Ring, The Valkyrie is certainly the one the audience awaits most. Known in France for having directed an oratorio by Handel at the Festival of Aix en Provence in 2008, Christof Nel remembered his training as a psychoanalyst when presenting this masterpiece of ambiguity. Instead of the magical and the mythical he highlights the incestuous relations between Wotan and his daughter Brunnhilde and the twins Siegmund and Sieglinde by placing them in a contemporary context.
Nonconformist and original, this Tetralogy was a sensation. Which is easily understandable when one sees this rendition of The Valkyrie which challenges all magical and mythological imagery. Among the singers, all of whom are excellent, is Angela Denoke (Sieglinde) who later went on to forge a remarkable international career for herself. At the rostrum, Lothar Zagrosek is convincing with his passion and lyricism: humanity was expressed that evening in the orchestra pit.
Lothar Zagrosek, Jossi Wieler – Jon Fredric West (Siegfried), Wolfgang Schöne (The wanderer), Gabriela Herrera (A woodbird) – Staatsoper Stuttgart
Lothar Zagrosek, Joachim Schlömer – Bernhard Schneider (Froh), Wolfgang Probst (Wotan), Robert Künzle (Loge) – Staatsoper Stuttgart
Lothar Zagrosek, Peter Konwitschny – Albert Bonnema (Siegfried), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Gutrune) – Staatsoper Stuttgart
A documentary on German singer Waltraud Meier