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Seattle Opera on May 11, 2013 03:59

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    Elemental divinities whose authority over the world reaches its summit—and precipitously falls into ruin—over the course of the “Ring.” Five gods from Norse mythology appear in Wagner’s “Ring”: Wotan (Odin), king of the gods; his consort Fricka (Frigg), goddess of marriage; Froh (Freyr), god of springtime and fertility; Donner (Thor), god of strength and thunder; Freia (Freyia), goddess of youth, love, and beauty; and Loge (Loki), god of fire and mischief. Wagner invented Erda, his earth goddess, inspired by a prophetic seeress in a famous old Icelandic poem.

    Each of the gods has a strong personality and distinctly individual music; what unites them is that each has an intense relationship with Wotan. Fricka is his beloved wife, and her sister Freia is precious to him because of her golden apples of immortality, which he needs to live and thrive. As a sky god, Wotan depends on Donner and Froh to command the storm and rule the rainbow. Loge is Wotan’s closest friend and advisor, and Erda is his lover.

    Musical example: music for the gods’ home, Valhalla. Orchestra of Seattle Opera conducted by Robert Spano. Photo by Rozarii Lynch.

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