The broad strokes of battle and intimacy of human emotion combine in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Richard Wagner’s DIE WALKURE. The audience is masterfully led through a wide range of emotion throughout this boundless production.
Darkness and Tragedy At Its Finest
The story is the second of the four works in Wagner’s Ring cycle. While simply a portion of this epic saga, it is often performed as a stand alone opera and does not require knowledge of the previous work to be properly consumed. This particular story focuses on the Norse mythology of the valkyrie, a group of women who decide which soldiers in battle will live and which will die.
While the story is epic, the enormity is beautifully cut by the portrayal of human relationships both in score and performance. The music, under masterful direction of Sir Andrew Davis, knocks you over with its brassy representation of battle and then transports you to a completely different emotional state with depiction of sadness or new love.
Design Reflects Content
The scenic design, originally designed by Johan Engels and designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, interweaves with the content of the story throughout the performance. It is imposing at times and understated when necessary. The imperialistic setting of the decision makers slowly makes its way down as the conspiring takes place. Bloody netting and horrific corpses depict battle scenes. Marie-Jeanne Lecca’s impeccable costume design captures the graphic depiction of war in a way that is both staggering and graceful.
Lyric Opera Continues Bringing Top Talent
The ensemble of artists that have been assembled for this production is a marvel to witness. Eric Owens gives a towering performance as Wotan. His mere presence on stage is ominous and powerful. With that presence, in combination with his thunderous voice, he embodies the character perfectly.
Christine Goerke inspires admiration and heartbreak as Brunnhilde, the rebellious valkyrie. Her ability to fill the near infinite space of the stage, in fact the entire room, with both singing and nonverbal performance evokes a palpable sense of awe.
Photos by Cory Weaver
Top Pick For: Fantasy Genre Lovers
Not recommended for: Opera Haters
Friday, November 10 at 5:30PM
Tuesday, November 14 at 5:30PM
Saturday, November 18 at 5:30PM
Sunday, November 26 at 1:00PM
Thursday, November 30 at 5:30PM