Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung: A Listener's Guide and Behind-the-Scenes Exploration
April 7-28, 2011
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Adult Extension Division, 2011
Kip Cranna, Director of Music Administration, San Francisco Opera
As San Francisco Opera prepares to present Richard Wagner’s monumental four-part cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, join SFO’s Director of Music Administration, Kip Cranna, to explore the music of The Ring in detail, as we examine his ingenious use of signature themes known as “leitmotivs.” We’ll compare various production styles, using video examples, and get an insider’s viewpoint on the practical challenges of producing a Ring. (This will be Kip’s fourth!) The class will discuss background information about the composition of the operas, and focus on listening skills that will help you to better appreciate Wagner’s astounding saga about gods, mortals, giants, monsters, and dwarves, in this gripping tale of love, death, greed, redemption--and the end of the world.
Four Thursday classes: $195
Class I. April 7
An overview of the Ring, and a close look at the “Prologue,” Das Rheingold. The theft of gold from the River Rhine to forge a magic ring violates nature and brings down a fateful curse.
Class II. April 14
Die Walküre: Take a ride with the Valkyries as we watch a warrior maiden defy her father Wotan, the head of the gods.
Class III. April 21
Siegfried: A bumpkin becomes a hero who wins the ring and finds a bride in a circle of flame.
Class IV: April 28
The Twilight of the Gods (Götterdämmerung): A god’s fatal mistakes bring about his destruction, and the world beings anew.