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Sun. Jan. 20, 2019, 4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Vienna

Richard Wagner

Götter­dämmerung

Conductor: Axel Kober, Director: Sven-Eric Bechtolf
With Stephen Gould, Falk Struckmann, Iréne Theorin, Waltraud Meier

 
This production is made possible thanks to the support of
Cast
Synopsis
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  • Richard Wagner  |  Musik
  • Sven-Eric Bechtolf  |  Director
  • Axel Kober  |  Conductor
  • Rolf Glittenberg  |  Bühne
  • Marianne Glittenberg  |  Costumes

Axel Kober | Conductor

Born in Kronach (Upper Frankonia), AXEL KOBER completed his conducting studies at the University of Music in Würzburg. First steps of his career were for example the Oper Leipzig (MD between 2007 and 2009 and assistant GMD) and the  Nationaltheater Mannheim (principal Kapellmeister since 2003, since 2005/2006 temporary GMD). In Leipzig he also regularly conducted symphony concerts of the Gewandhaus orchestra. Guest performances during this time for example led him to the Staatstheater Nürnberg, the Wiener Volksoper, the Royal Opera Copenhagen, the Philharmonische Orchester Halle as well as to the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg. Since 2009 he has been principal conductor and GMD of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. With Tannhäuser, he guested at the Bayreuther Festspiele for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he was invited once again for Tannhäuser as well as for the Fliegende Holländer (as of 2015). Further guest conductings led him to the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Parsifal, Tannhäuser), the Hamburgische Staatsoper (La traviata, Ariadne auf Naxos, Carmen), the Theater Basel (Parsifal, Lohengrin). In 2014/2015, Axel Kober made his debut at the Opéra National du Rhin (Tristan und Isolde), in 2015/2016 he debuted at the Semperoper Dresden (Elektra) and at the Opernhaus Zürich (Fliegender Holländer).

Jochen Schmeckenbecher | Alberich

In 2011/2012 the German baritone made his successful role debuts as Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) at the Opera de Lyon, as Dr. Kolenaty (Sache Makropulos) at the Salzburger Festspiele and as Alberich (Siegfried und Gotterdämmerung) at the Oper Frankfurt, where he had already sung Amfortas (Parsifal) and Alberich (Das Rheingold) in 2010. Future plans include the debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Alberich in the Ring des Nibelungen in Frankfurt and with the RSB Berlin as well as projects at the Bastille in Paris, at the Liceu in Barcelona and the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, where he recently sang Orest (Elektra) and Creon (Medee). He regularly guests at international opera and concert stages, e.g. at the Staatsoper Berlin, the Semperoper Dresden, La Scala in Milan, the Teatro Regio Turin, the Wiener Volksoper, the Aalto Theater Essen as well as at the Ruhrtriennale. Also he sang in Dallas, Philadelphia and at the San Francisco Opera (Faninal in Rosenkavalier). As Wozzeck he for example guested at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, at the Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Staatsoper Hamburg. As Musiklehrer (Ariadne auf Naxos) he made his debut at the Met in 2010 as well as at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011.

Ulrike Helzel | Wellgunde

Mezzo-soprano Ulrike Helzel was born in Magdeburg and completed her vocal arts studies at the University of Music in Leipzig. She was member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin for many years, where she sang Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Fuchs in Das schlaue Füchslein, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Siébel in Gounod´s Faust, Orpheus in Orpheus und Euridice and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.

Since autumn 2012 she is member of the ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper. Since 2006 she appears as a guest at the Bayreuther Festspiele, first as Wellgunde in the Ring and since 2008 as Blumenmädchen and Knappe in Parsifal. Ulrike Helzel has appeared as a guest for example at the Theater Basel, the Komische Oper, the Semperoper (title role Carmen), the Nationaltheater Weimar, the Opernhaus Halle, the Opéra de Lyon, the Opéra La Monnaie Brüssel, the Bayerische Staatsoper München, the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, at the Festival de Canarias, at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele.

She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 and sang Wellgunde (Rheingold, Götterdämmerung), Zweite Norn (Götterdämmerung), Siegrune (Walküre) here.

 

Stephen Gould | Siegfried

Stephen Gould was born in Virginia and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. In recent years he has sung in the new productions of Der fliegende Holländer in Madrid, Munich, Vienna and New York, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in Bayreuth, Tannhäuser in Tokyo, Paris and Geneva, Peter Grimes in Dresden and Geneva, Otello and Die Liebe der Danae in Dresden, Lohengrin in Trieste and Hamburg, Die tote Stadt in Berlin and London, Fidelio in Rome und Tokyo, Les Troyens, Fidelio and Otello in Florence as well as in many further productions and concerts in Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, Mannheim and Barcelona. In 2012/2011 he sang Gurre-Lieder in Montreux and Luzern, Tristan und Isolde in Tokyo and Dresden, Tannhäuser in Dresden, then Die Frau ohne Schatten in Salzburg, Götterdämmerung in Berlin, and in 2012 Tristan und Isolde in Berlin, Fidelio in Dallas, Götterdämmerung in Munich and Tannhäuse in Turin, to only name a few.

In 2004 he made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Paul (Die tote Stadt) and has since then also sung Erik, Parsifal, Siegfried (Siegfried, Götterdämmerung), Tannhäuser and Bacchus here.

 

Falk Struckmann | Hagen

For many years, KS FALK STRUCKMANN has been one of the most sought-after singers of his fach. He is a regular guest at the world´s most renowned opera houses and festivals such as the state operas in Berlin, Ham­burg, Munich and Vienna, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelo­na, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Met, the Opéra National Paris and the Bayreuther and Salzbur­ger Festspiele. After his debut in Kiel in 1985, guest contracts already led him to the Wiener Staatsoper in 1990 and to the Berliner Staatsoper in 1992 – two places that should become the centre of his artistic career in the following years and where he sang all the great roles of his fach. He made his international breakthrough in 1993 at the Bayreuther Festspiele as Kurwenal, where he later also performed as Amfortas and Wotan. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1991 as Orest (Elektra). Scarpia (Tosca), Escamillo (Carmen), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde), Wozzeck, Don Pizarro (Fidelio), Telramund (Lohengrin), Wotan/ Wanderer (Ring), Barak (Frau ohne Schatten), Holländer, Jago (Otello), Rangoni (Boris Godunow), Amfortas (Parsifal), Amonasro (Aida), Hans Sachs (Meistersinger von Nürnberg) were to follow here.

Iréne Theorin | Brünnhilde

IRÉNE THEORIN is a regular guest at the world´s most significant opera houses. After her debut as Brünnhilde in Copenhagen, she for example guested in London, Beijing, Budapest, Berlin and Dresden and made her US debut with this role in 2009 at the New York Met as well as in Washington. In 2010, Tokyo followed. In the season 2012/2013 she was Brünnhilde in the Barenboim-Ring at the Staatsoper Berlin and La Scala, at the Wagner Festival in Budapest and in Barcelona. In 2005 she made her debut as Turan­dot in Copenhagen. Appearances as Brünnhilde followed in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Guanzghou, Dresden and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, at the Met and the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2006 she sang Isolde for the first time in Brussels, after that in Rotterdam, Washington, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Berlin. Between 2008 and 2012 she sang Isolde at the Bayreuther Festspiele. In 2007 and 2008 she performed Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Tosca and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) in Copenhagen. Her debut as Santuzza followed in 2012. In 2010 she debuted as Elektra at the Salzburger Festspiele, a role she also interpreted at the Paris Opera. She presented herself to the Viennese public at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 as Venus.   

Roles at the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Venus, Isolde.

 

Monika Bohinec | Erste Norn

The mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. As a student, she was a finalist and award winner of different competitions and a scholarship holder of the Richard Wagner Foundation and the Hilde Zadek Foundation.

In 2006, she made her debut as Clarissa in Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen at the Slovenian State Opera, where she appeared as Jezibaba in Rusalka, Konchakowna (Fürst Igor), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and in the title role of Carmen.
In 2009 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Mannheim National Theatre, where she sang Carmen, Sara di Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Laura and Cieca (La Gioconda), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera).

In the season 2011/2012 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera where she sang e.g. Larina, Grimgerde, Marthe, Farzana, Schenkenwirtin, Lola, Mary, Marcellina, Fenena, Ulrica, Suzuki, Margret, Madelon and Erste Norn.

Ulrike Helzel | Zweite Norn

Mezzo-soprano Ulrike Helzel was born in Magdeburg and completed her vocal arts studies at the University of Music in Leipzig. She was member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin for many years, where she sang Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Fuchs in Das schlaue Füchslein, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Siébel in Gounod´s Faust, Orpheus in Orpheus und Euridice and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.

Since autumn 2012 she is member of the ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper. Since 2006 she appears as a guest at the Bayreuther Festspiele, first as Wellgunde in the Ring and since 2008 as Blumenmädchen and Knappe in Parsifal. Ulrike Helzel has appeared as a guest for example at the Theater Basel, the Komische Oper, the Semperoper (title role Carmen), the Nationaltheater Weimar, the Opernhaus Halle, the Opéra de Lyon, the Opéra La Monnaie Brüssel, the Bayerische Staatsoper München, the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, at the Festival de Canarias, at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele.

She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 and sang Wellgunde (Rheingold, Götterdämmerung), Zweite Norn (Götterdämmerung), Siegrune (Walküre) here.

 

Zoryana Kushpler | Flosshilde

Zoryana Kushpler was born in Lviv (Ukraine). At the age of five she took piano lessons with her mother, later she changed to the violin. From 1993 on she studied vocal arts in her father´s class at the University of Music in Lviv. In 1998 she changed to the University of Music in Hamburg. Performances have led her for example to Zurich, Geneva, Venice, Milan, Florence, Hamburg, Berlin, London and to Bern, where she was member of the ensemble of the Stadttheater Bern from 2004 to 2006. There, she interpreted roles like Sesto (Giulio Cesare) or Preziosilla (Forza del destino). She sang Adelaide (Arabella) at the Oper Graz and Carmen, Giulietta (Contes d’Hoffmann), Maddalena (Rigoletto) and Prinz Orlofsky at the Volksoper.



She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2007 as Adelaide. Here, she also performed (selection) Polina and Daphnis (Pique Dame), Olga (Eugen Onegin), Giulietta (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Fenena (Nabucco), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Prinz Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) and Preziosilla (La forza del destino).



Roles at the Wiener Staatsoper 2013/ 2014: e.g. Smeton, Orlofsky, Lola, Marthe, Fenena.

Tomasz Konieczny | Gunther

Tomasz Konieczy was born in 1972 in Lodz/Poland. At the Film Academy there, he studied acting as well as singing in Warsaw and Dresden. In 1997, he gave his debut in Poznan as Figaro (Nozze di Figaro), two years later in Leipzig, and in 2000/2001 he changed to the Lubecker Theatre. During this time he was committed to St. Gallen, Halle, Chemnitz and Mannheim. From 2002/2003, he became an ensemble member in Mannheim. In 2005, he gave his debut at the Deutschen Oper in Rhein. Further engagements include performances in the Scala, at the Paris Opera, the Semperoper, the Teatro Real, Warsaw, the Bayerischen Staatsoper, Tokyo, Berlin and the Salzburger Festspiele. His roles include among others: Kezal, Orest, Procida, Ramfis, Wotan Wanderer, Pizarro, Großinquisitor, Jochanaan, Osmin, Golaud, Saras­tro, Mandryka, Amfortas, Alberich, Pimen, Marke, Colline, Melitone and Wozzeck. In 2008, he gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Alberich and also sang here since then Fra Melitone, Alberich (kompletter Ring), Amfortas, Goldhändler, Jochanaan, Wotan, Wanderer, Mandryka, Jack Rance, Don Pizarro and Dreieinigkeitsmoses.  

Anna Gabler | Gutrune

ANNA GABLER was born in Munich and studied at the local Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Still a student, she became a member of the Youth Ensemble at the Bavarian State Opera. Engagements at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and at the Nuremberg State Theatre followed soon after. Alongside this, she also sang at the Bavarian State Opera and the Semper Opera. From 2007, she sang the role of Ortlinde in Die Walküre in Bayreuth. Further international engagements took her to such places as the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Hamburg State Opera, and she sang the roles of Eva at the Glyndebourne Festival and Rosalinde at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, where she also gave her debut performance of Arabella in Spring 2014. In 2013 she made her debut in the role of Senta in Bologna. In Summer 2013, she sang Eva at the Salzburg Festival for the first time. In Bologna she gave her debut performance as Chrysothemis, which led to a performance of the same role at the Prague State Opera and in 2017, at the Aalto Theatre in Essen. In 2016, she sang the role of Salome at Klagenfurt State Theatre. She is a member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera.

Waltraud Meier | Waltraute

KS Waltraud was born in Würzburg. After completing school, she went on to study English and at the same time had singing lessons. In 1976, she decided to focus completely on singing and made her debut at the Würzburger Opera as Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana). She gave her international debut in 1980 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as Fricka in Walküre. With her triumphant success as Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal in 1983, her international career started at the Bayreuther Festspiele which has led her on a regular basis to Covent Garden, the Met, the Scala, the Opéra National de Paris and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Today, she is considered one of the most important Wagner singers. She is also equally expressive and vocally dramatic when singing in French and Italian as Eboli, Amneris, Didon, Carmen und Santuzza. She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1987 as Kundry. Further performances in the house on the ring include Amneris, Komponist, Carmen, Ortrud, Sieglinde, Leonore, Isolde, Venus, Kundry, Eboli, and Santuzza.

 

Maria Nazarova | Woglinde

Coloratura soprano MARIA NAZAROVA was born in the Ukraine. She received her vocal arts and acting training at the Russian Academy for theatre arts in Moscow. Parallel to her education at the Academy, she was an actor at the Polish Theatre in Moscow and performed on several stages in Moscow. After obtaining her diploma studies with distinction, she completed her master studies with special focus on baroque music as well as lied and oratorio at the Mozarteum Salzburg in 2011. Maria Nazarova has performed as soloist in Europe, Russia, Great Britain and is multiple awardee of different international competitions. She performed in the ensemble of the Young Singers Project at the Salzburger Festspiele. She sang Taumännchen at the Wiener Volksoper, Lisa (La sonnambula) at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich und Despina at the Bolschoi in Moscow. Since 2015 Maria Nazarova is ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper as well as NOVOMATIC scholar and has for example sung Despina, Clorinda, Oscar and Barbarina here.

The three Norns are spinning the rope of Fate and discussing the past, the present and the future: Alberich’s theft of the Rhine gold, the curse of the ring, Wotan’s act of self-constitution in which he cleaved his spear, with all the scared pacts carved into it, out of the World Ash, which then withered and was cut down, and finally Siegfried`s meeting with Wotan.  When the rope of Fate breaks, the alarmed Norns descend to their mother, Erda. On the Valkyries’ rock, Siegfried takes his leave of Brünnhilde; she recited runes to protect him. As a token of his love, Siegfried gives her the ring of the Nibelungen. ACT I Hagen, son of Alberich, advises his half-brother Gunther and Gunther’s sister Gutrune on how to advance the fame of the Gibichungs: Gunther should marry Brünnhilde and Gutrune Siegfried. Siegfried enters, and, at Hagen’s prompting, Gutrune hands him a magic potion that immediately causes Siegfried to forget Brünnhilde – he falls in love with Gutrune. In order to win her, he promises to fetch Brünnhilde from the Valkyries’ rock for Gunther. After swearing an oath of blood brotherhood with Gunther, Siegfried departs to bring back Brünnhilde for Gunther. In the meantime, Brünnhilde’s sister, the Valkyrie Waltraute, comes to visit Brünnhilde. She begs her sister to return the ring to the Rhinemaidens so that the curse may be lifted. However, Brünnhilde refuses to give up the ring, as it was Siegfried’s pledge of love to her. Siegfried appears, transformed by the Tarn helmet into the figure of Gunther; he strides through the fire and overpowers Brünnhilde. As a sign of her marriage – to Gunther – he tears the ring from her finger. ACT II At night, Alberich urges his son Hagen to win back the ring for him. When Brünnhilde arrives with Gunther, she sees that Siegfried and Guntrune are a couple and, spying the ring on Siegfried’s hand, she accuses him of betraying her. Siegfried denies any wrongdoing, but Hagen, Gunther and Brünnhilde plot to kill him.  ACT III Out hunting, Siegfried meets the Rhinemaidens, who beg him to give them the ring and warn him of its curse. Siegfried nonetheless keeps the ring. The hunting party joins him, and at the request of Hagen, Siegfried tells them the story of his life. As he talks, Hagen hands him a potion that restores his memories of Brünnhilde. Hagen regards this as an admission of betrayal and thrusts his spear into Siegfried’s back. As he dies, Siegfried recalls his love for Brünnhilde. In the fight for possession of the ring, Hagen kills Gunther, but Brünnhilde now asserts her primary right to Siegfried – and the ring: she orders a funeral pyre to be built for Siegfried and then throws herself into the flames. The Rhine floods its banks and consumes the pyre, the three Rhinemaidens drag Hagen, who wants to keep the ring for himself, into the depths of the river, and the ring falls back into the Rhine. As Valhalla goes up in flames, with great anxiety humans witness the twilight of the Gods.