Sigurd (opera)


Sigurd (opera)

Sigurd is an opera in four acts and nine scenes by the French composer Ernest Reyer on a libretto by Camille du Locle and Alfred Blau. Like Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, the story is based on the Niebelungenlied and the Volsunga Saga. The work was first performed at the Théatre de la Monnaie in Brussels on January 7, 1884 directed by Stoumon and Calabresi. It was later performed in Paris at the Académie Nationale de Musique on June 12, 1885 directed by Ritt and Gailhard.

Roles

*Sigurd, Frankish hero tenor
*Gunther, king of the Burgundians, baritone
*Hagen, warrior, companion of Gunther, bass
*The High Priest of Odin, baritone
*Rudiger, baritone
*Irnfrid, tenor
*Hawart, baritone
*Ramunc, bass
*The bard, bass
*Brunehild, Valkyrie expelled from Heaven soprano
*Hilda, Gunther's sister, mezzo-soprano
*Uta, Hilda's nurse, mezzo-soprano

Burgundian warriors, Burgundian people, Icelandic people, Priests, Wives of Burgundian warriors, Maids to Hilda and the Queen, Valets, etc.

In the ballets:
*Act 1: The three Norns, Valkyries, Nixes, Elves, Cobbolds
*Act 3: Warriors and Wives
*Act 4 (Apotheosis): Odin's Paradise

etting

*Place: Worms and Iceland
*Time: mythic

ynopsis

Hilda, the younger sister of Gunther, king of the Burgundians, loves the hero Sigurd. At the instigation of her nurse she gives him a magic potion which brings him to her feet. Sigurd, Gunther and Hagen then swear fealty to each other and set off to Iceland, where Brunehild lies asleep upon a lofty rock, surrounded by a circle of fire. There, Sigurd, to earn the hand of Hilda, passes through the flames and wins Brunehild for Gunther. His face is closely hidden by his visor, and Brunehild in all innocence accepts Gunther as her saviour, and gives herself to him. The secret is afterwards disclosed by Hilda in a fit of jealous rage, whereupon Brunehild releases Sigurd from the enchantment of the potion. He recognises her as the bride ordained for him by the gods, but before he can taste his new-found happiness he is treacherously slain by Hagen, while by a mysterious sympathy, Brunehild dies from the same stroke that has killed her lover. [Streatfield R A. "The Opera". London, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1925.]

Available recordings

* Complete recording: from "Chant du Monde" (France), LDC 278 919, distributed by Harmonia Mundi, recorded in 1989, conducted by Manuel Rosenthal.
* Historical (incomplete compilation from various sources, performers, with poor sound quality): from Malibran Music (73 minutes total)
* [http://www.amazon.com/Reyer-Sigurd/dp/B00004S93V Available recordings found on amazon.com, plus excellent review of those recordings concerned]

References

*cite book |title=The Standard Opera Guide |last=Upton |first=George P. |coauthors=Borowski, Felix |year=1928 |publisher=Blue Ribbon Books |location=New York |pages=293-95

External links

* [http://www.karadar.com/Librettos/reyer_SIGURD.html Libretto]


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