Wagner: Siegfried [Der Ring des Nibelungen: III]

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Wagner: Siegfried [Der Ring des Nibelungen: III]

by: Alexander Campbell

Pressurised into revealing the youthful Siegfried’s parentage the wily Nibelung Mime produces splinters of the sword Nothung, which Siegfried re-forges. Encouraged by Mime Siegfried kills the dragon Fafner, a giant transformed by the magic Tarnhelm, who possesses the ring of power. Accidentally licking dragon-blood Siegfried understands birdsong and, warned, slays duplicitous Mime and finds both ring and Tarnhelm. Guided by a woodbird towards the rocks, he encounters the disguised Wotan blocking the way. Siegfried shatters Wotan’s spear and godly authority, penetrates the defensive magic fire and awakens the sleeping Valkyrie, Brünnhilde. Initially resistant, she succumbs and they fall in love.

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