Ring-Trilogie_2017/18_1280x680_1718 © beyond | Emmanuel Polanco | colagene.com


Brünnhilde looks on as Siegfried, the man she loves, is murdered by Hagen. She recalls the last dispute she had with her father Wotan that changed her life so completely. The wild valkyrie and acknowledged favourite daughter of her father had disobeyed his orders and tried to save the two lovers Siegmund and Sieglinde in the fight against Hunding. Wotan could not forgive her this emancipatory disobedience and intended to inflict a dreadful punishment on her. Cut off from everybody else, she was to be put to sleep – utterly at the mercy of any man who found her. But when Wotan heard that Sieglinde was expecting a child by Siegfried, the next hero, he changed the punishment: the sleeping Brünnhilde was now to be protected by a ring of fire that only a “fearless, freest hero” could cross. And that could only be Siegfried.

Brünnhilde feels irrevocably bound to Siegfried by love and so invincible that she can let him go to perform “new deeds”. At their parting, he gives her the ring as a gift, and she gives him her horse Grane. Waltraute, a valkyrie sister of Brünnhilde’s, pays her a clandestine visit to report to her on the disastrous state that Wotan and the world are in. She tells Brünnhilde to return the ring to the Rhinemaidens, but Brünnhilde refuses to take responsibility for Wotan’s old faults. She insists on her pledge of love. A stranger appears, overpowers her and tears the ring from her grasp. It is Siegfried, who has taken on the form of Gunther with the help of the Tarnhelm. He has come to take Brünnhilde to marry his blood brother Gunther. When the new couples Siegfried-Gutrune and Gunther-Brünnhilde are about to celebrate their double weddings, the cruel deception becomes apparent. Brünnhilde denounces the treachery, Hagen breeds discord. After he has killed Siegfried, everything falls apart. Brünnhilde throws the old world on the fire; the days of the gods are over. Is it now possible for something new to begin?

The final evening of the trilogy, in which old structures and the old balance of power are overcome, recounts a scene from The Valkyrie combined with large parts of Götterdämmerung from a woman's perspective.