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A royal family (and the name also refers to their subjects) of a human kingdom on the banks of the Rhine river. King Gunther and his sister, the lovely princess Gutrune, are the children of Gibich, founder of the Gibichung kingdom. Their family’s wealth and power are famous, so they have a reputation to uphold. They also have a dirty family secret: Gunther’s most trusted advisor, Hagen, is his half-brother—the bastard offspring of their mother and some monstrous Nibelung dwarf.
Musical example from Act Two of “Götterdämmerung,” singers and orchestra of Seattle Opera conducted by Robert Spano. Photo by Rozarii Lynch.