Ballet & Dance

The preliminary evening of "Der Ring des Niebelungen"
Opera in 1 Act (Sung in German with Japanese Supertitles)

Special Cooperation: POLA Cosmetics, Inc.

Libretto and Music by : Richard Wagner
Artistic Director
: Kiyoshi Igarashi
Conductor : Jun Märkl
Stage Director : Keith Warner
Set and Costume Designer : David Fielding
Lighting Designer : Wolfgang Göbbel
Adviser : Wolfgang Wagner
Production Manager : Jonathan Bartlett
Costume Superviser : Yvonne Milnes
Stage Manager : Masahiko Onita
Assistant Conductors : Lionel Friend / Hirofumi Misawa / Masahiro Joya
Assistant Stage Directors : Matthias von Stegmann / Yasuko Sawada / Ema Warner
Orchestra : Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
Presented by : New National Theatre, Tokyo
Co-sponsored by : Japan Opera Group Conference
Cooperation : Japan Wagner Association
Special Cooperation : POLA Cosmetics, Inc.

March-April 2001


Wotan Alan Titus X X   X   X
Harry Peeters     X   X  
Donner Satoru Aoto X X   X   X
Ikuo Oshima     X   X  
Froh Mineo Nagata X X   X   X
Satoshi Mizuguchi     X   X  
Loge Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz X X   X   X
Yoji Hoshi     X   X  
Fasolt Hans Tschammer X X   X   X
Akira Hasegawa     X   X  
Fafner Philip Kang X X   X   X
Yasuhiro Sato     X   X  
Alberich Oskar Hillebrandt X X   X   X
Takeo Shimamura     X   X  
Mime Gerhard Siegel X X   X   X
Ken Matsuura     X   X  
Fricka Yumi Koyama X X   X   X
Mihoko Fujimura     X   X  
Freia Misayo Tanaka X X   X   X
Rika Iwai     X   X  
Erda Birgit Remmert X X   X   X
Kaori Kuroki     X   X  
Woglinde Claudia Barainsky X X   X   X
Yumi Morino     X   X  
Wellgunde Ranko Kurano X X   X   X
Rika Shiratsuchi     X   X  
Flosshilde Tomoko Obayashi X X   X   X
Yumiko Kan     X   X  

March 2001 Friday 30 Sunday 1 Tuesday 3 Wednesday 4 Friday 6 Sunday 8
3:00pm   X       X
6:30pm X   X X X  
Doors will open 60 minutes before the opening of the performance.
Small lectures on this opera will be presented 45 minutes before the curtain time.

Available from Saturday 25 November, 2000 at 10:00am.
To order tickets, please call +81-3-5352-9999 (10:00am-6:00pm).
Internet ticket reservation available through the following Websites.(Japanese only)

Type Seat S Seat A Seat B Seat C Seat D Seat E
Price ¥23,100 ¥18,900 ¥14,700 ¥11,550 ¥7,350 ¥4,200
Seat Z(¥1,500) is sold only on the performance day at the Box Office and a part of Ticket Pia Offices.

DAS_RHEINGOLDThe New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT) Premieres the Long-Awaited and Greatest Masterpiece of Richard Wagner That Dramatically Depicts the Fall of the Gods.

"Der Ring des Niebelungen (The Ring of the Niebelung)"

Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold)
The Niebelung dwarf Alberich steals the Rhinegold guarded by the three Rhinemaidens and forges a Ring from it. Meanwhile, Wotan, ruler of the gods, engages the two giants who are brothers to build Valhalla for the gods, and the brothers demand Freia, goddess of youth, as payment. Loge, the fire god, cunningly tells Wotan to obtain the Rhinegold from Alberich by tricking him and to give it to the brothers. Although the brothers get the gold and the Ring, Alberich's curses take effect and the younger brother kills the elder. Loge predicts the fall of the gods.
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
Wotan begets twins by a mortal woman. The younger sister, Sieglinde, becomes the wife of Hunding but falls in love with Siegmund, unknowingly her elder brother, when he seeks shelter at Hunding's hut. The twins run away but are cornered by Hunding, who challenges Siegmund to fight. Informed that the two men will fight, Wotan tries to make sure that his son will win the combat with Nothung, a magic sword, but his wife, Fricka, objects to the plan, and he orders his daughter, Brünnhilde, to defeat Siegmund. Because his daughter disobeys him and sides with Siegmund, Wotan shatters Nothung with his spear and lets Hunding kill Siegmund. Wotan's punishes Brünnhilde by putting her to sleep on a fire-girt rock where she can only be rescued by a hero. Sieglinde dies after giving birth to Siegfried, Siegmund's son.
Siegfried is raised by the dwarf Mime, younger brother of Alberich, and grows into a strong young man. Meanwhile, Fafner, the younger of the giant brothers, has changed himself into a dragon and guards the Rhinegold. Mime schemes to have Siegfried defeat the dragon and take away the gold. Siegfried reforges Nothung and slays the dragon. He then kills Mime, who was plotting to poison him, and guided by a bird, he heads for the rock on which Brünnhilde is sleeping. On his way, he encounters Wotan but he breaks Wotan's spear with Nothung and makes his way through the fire and awakens Brünnhilde.
Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods)
Siegfried goes on a journey down the Rhine leaving his wife, Brünnhilde, behind. During the journey, he comes to a house where Hagen, son of Alberich, and his half-brother, Gunther, drug Siegfried. Having forgotten his wife, Siegfried marries Gutrune, younger sister of Gunther. He is also deceived into helping Gunther marry Brünnhilde, and Brünnhilde vows her revenge against Siegfried. But after Siegfried is killed by Hagen, she finds out the truth and after returning the Ring to the Rhinemaidens, she immolates herself. The kingdom of the gods is soon destroyed.

Synopsis of "Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold)"
The three Rhinemaidens are playing at the bottom of the Rhine. The Niebelung dwarf Alberich is making advances to the maidens when he discovers the Rhinegold by chance. The maidens, who guard it, inadvertently tell him that infinite power will be given to the holder of a Ring made from the Rhinegold, but that such a Ring can be created only if the power of love is renounced. Having discovered this secret, Alberich curses love, steals the gold, and runs away. Meanwhile, on a mountain by the Rhine, Wotan, ruler of the gods, is pleased with the completion of Valhalla, which he engaged the giant brothers, Fafner and Fasolt, to build for the gods. The contract calls for Wotan to give them Freia, goddess of youth, as payment. But Freia is the younger sister of Wotan's wife, Fricka, who is displeased with the fact that her sister is the subject of a contract. Wotan, for his part, has no intention of giving them Freia and intends to get Loge, the cunning fire god, to work out a plan for him. As designed by Loge, upon hearing about the Rhinegold, the giant brothers demand the gold instead of Freia. When Wotan, who now wants to keep the gold himself, refuses their demand, the giant brothers take Freia hostage and run away. Partly because of Fricka's wish, Wotan and Loge set out with the aim of taking away the gold. In the underworld of Niebelheim, the dwarf Alberich reigns over the Niebelungs as a tyrant. He forces his younger brother, Mime, to forge a magic helmet, the Tarnhelm, for him. He immediately puts on the helmet to become invisible, and beats those around him as he pleases. Wotan and Loge force Mime to tell them about the situation in Niebelheim. Goaded by the cunning Loge, Alberich changes himself into a toad using the Tarnhelm and is captured easily. Upon returning to the mountain, Wotan gets the Niebelungs to bring the Rhinegold as a ransom for Alberich and takes the Ring by force. In despair, Alberich curses the Ring and goes away. The giant brothers ask for a pile of the Rhinegold, equivalent to the height of Freia as a ransom for her and even demand the Tarnhelm and the Ring to compensate for the shortage. When Wotan refuses their demand, Erda, the earth goddess, emerges to tell him that the fall of the gods is approaching and warns him not to retain the Ring. Wotan makes up his mind to part with the Ring and Freia is finally set free. The giant brothers, as soon as they have possessed the Ring, start to quarrel over how to divide the treasures between themselves, and Fafner kills Fasolt. Soon, Wotan, together with the other gods, crosses a rainbow bridge to Valhalla. Loge, however, fears for the future of the gods, feeling that the fall of the gods is drawing near.

Leitmotif, a Guide to the Music Dramas
When Richard Wagner composed music for these grand music-dramas, he used a device known as a leitmotif (leading motif) to give them a consistency. This is a device for identifying a person, thing, event, or idea by giving it a particular melody so that the development of the drama is better understood. Wagner himself did not name each leitmotif nor make a list of them. The total number of leitmotifs used in "Der Ring des Niebelungen" is about 100, although musicologists disagree as to the exact number. No other composer has utilized this device more effectively than Wagner. For example, the motif for "primitive state" and the motif for "creation of nature" in the prelude to "Das Rheingold" enable the listeners to use their imagination to conjure up an image of the depths of the Rhine in Act 1, while experiencing the chaotic world that existed before the creation of nature as well as to "see" the faint gleams of light streaming into the waters. Leitmotifs help lead the audience to gain a comprehensive understanding of the whole drama. A comprehensive collection of leitmotifs is found in "Der Ring des Niebelungen".