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News from the Members

Lectures around the Ring on the Rhine
Lecture series on the "Ring des Nibelungen" in the run-up to the performances at the Rheinoper Düsseldorf .
On the occasion of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein's major project "Ring on the Rhine"  the Wagner Society of Düsseldorf has arranged an extensive lecture series around the four-part music drama. Final preparations for the lectures featuring eminent speakers are underway at the Rheinoper with director Dietrich Hilsdorf and the Düsseldorf Wagner Society.  The premiere of Götterdämmerung now is imminent. On 16 October at 19:00, Professor Dr. Jürgen Schläder will once again come to the Düsseldorf City Museum to talk about Wagner's Götterdämmerung. This will be the 14th lecture in the series.

The Ring comes to its conclusion with Götterdämmerung. And yet Wagner leaves many open questions following the finale of his extensive work: "An orgy of pranks - and then what? Thoughts on the continuation of the Ring after the world goes up in flames" is the title of the evening. During the final movement, Hagen has almost gone mad. "Get back from the Ring", he screams, then for the following minutes the instrumental theatre takes over. At the end of Götterdämmerung, Sieglinde's praise of Brünnhilde, increased to a symphonic gloriole, resounds in the orchestral tutti and delivers what seems to be a conciliatory, even transfiguring conclusion. The pantomime Wagner formulated as a stage instruction for this is much less clear: the joy of the Rhine daughters at the returned Ring, a red glow of fire in the sky; the Rhine recedes into its riverbed. At this point, Schläder intends to point out perspectives for the future. 

About eighteen months ago, the Düsseldorf Wagner Society began a series of lectures on the Ring des Nibelungen, in which essential aspects of the work, such as its musical and dramatic aesthetics or Wagner's intentions, ideas and ideologies, would be dealt with. It was the Society's aim to convey a better understanding of the Ring des Nibelungen and its events to both its members and the general public through these lectures. 

We began with the lecture "Die Natur als Darstellerin im Ring" ("Nature as an Actress in the Ring") with the renowned speaker and proven Festspielhaus expert Dr. Oswald Georg Bauer.

Prof. Schläder then introduced the leitmotif technique in the Ring. Prof. Dr. Hans Vaget spoke about "Power, Love and Sex in the Ring". In 3 lectures Schläder described the history of the staging of individual parts of the Ring. Dr. Sven Friedrich (Director, Haus Wahnfried, Bayreuth) discussed Wagner's socio-critical foundations for the conception of the Ring ("Walhall is Wall Street" - "The Birth of the Ring from the Spirit of Vormärz"). Schläder and his academic colleagues Dr. Ulrike Kienzle and Prof. Dr. Jochen Hörisch devoted themselves to the central figures of Wotan, Brünnhilde and Siegfried. There were also three opera dialogues - discussions with the audience with expert moderators on the individual parts of the Ring

Details of this lecture series can be found on the website of the Richard Wagner Society Düsseldorf under the menu item "Review".