Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The Het Muziektheater Amsterdam mounted Richard Wagner's 1870 opera Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) in 1999, with a cast that includes John Keyes, Kurt Rydl, John Bröcheler, Nadine Secunde, Jeannine Altmeyer and Reinhild Runkel. As the second installment in Wagner's cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, Walküre sports a narrative that is by now overly familiar. It recounts the fanciful quest of Wotan and Alberich to retrieve the ring from Fafner the dragon. Pierre Audi directed this production, and devised the unusual concept of placing the orchestra on the stage itself, thus bringing it closer to the performers and unifying the mythological, poetic, ideological and musical elements of the work. George Tsypin designed the sets and Eiko Ishioka is responsible for the costumes, while The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra - under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen - provides musical accompaniment The program runs four and a half hours.