The whole thing is absurd of course. The plot is melodramatic, the language stilted (the German archaic), and the sexual chemistry highly questionable – twins, Sigmund and Sieglinde, embarking on a passionate affair, their son (Siegfried) eventually to have a one-night-stand with their sister, Brünnhilde (all sired by Wotan, king of the gods, whose ‘wife’ Fricka, insists that Siegmund must die to atone for his incest and adultery). And yet at the end of the first act when the reunited twins embark on their incestuous liaison, I was too overcome with the emotional tension to speak.
What was really interesting though, was the fact that the famous Ride of the Valkyries, the most well-known piece of music in the entire Ring cycle, was almost an anticlimax. The conductor, Daniel Barenboim, had to restrain the enormous orchestra so that the singers were not overwhelmed.
I almost can’t wait for Sunday for the final opera Götterdämmerung, Twilight of the Gods. I just hope that the weather is a little cooler.