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Wagner's Die Walkure

From the Metropolitan Opera, New York, James Levine conducts Die Walkure, the second instalment of a lavish production of Wagner's epic four-opera Ring Cycle.

The Met's lavish production of Wagner's epic four-opera Ring reaches its second instalment, Die Walküre.

If only Top God and serial philanderer Wotan had been able to keep his trousers on, he would have saved himself a great deal of trouble. As it is, eleven of his children stalk the stage, causing havoc in one way or another. Nine of them have chosen the career path of warrior-maidens - the Valkyries - including their leader (and Wotan's favourite) Brünnhilde. The other two are a pair of twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde. They have chosen the rather more questionable use of their time to be lovers - a relationship not only incestuous but also adulterous, since Sieglinde is already married. Wotan sends Big Sister Brünnhilde to guard the lovers, much to the chagrin of his missus, Fricka. Chagrin, because her job (ironically enough considering what her husband has put her through) is Goddess of the Sanctity of Marriage. Throw in a magic sword and the usual disobedience a father can expect from his kids and, sure as eggs is eggs, there'll be tears before bedtime.

The no-expense-spared cast includes Bryn Terfel as the prodigious bed-hopper Wotan and Stephanie Blythe as his long-suffering wife, Fricka. Deborah Voight is the disobedient daughter and protective sister Brünnhilde, and Eva Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann the incestuous twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde. James Levine conducts.

Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.

Siegmund ..... Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Sieglinde ..... Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano)
Hunding ..... Hans-Peter König (bass)
Wotan ..... Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)
Fricka ..... Stephanie Blythe (mezzo-soprano)
Brünnhilde ..... Deborah Voigt (soprano)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Conductor ..... James Levine.

5 hours, 30 minutes