Norwegian Opera Director Stefan Herheim Stages ‘Die Walküre’ at Deutsche Oper Berlin

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credits: Kristen Hoebermann / ©Neda Navaee / Ray Burmiston/Decca Classics/ Deutsche Oper Berlin official website / Annika Schlicht official website)

In times of massive uncertainty and heightened risks, the Deutsche Oper Berlin is taking on the gargantuan effort of staging the second opera of the cycle, “Die Walküre,” directed by Stefan Herheim.

Herheim’s production of the iconic Wagner’s opera is the first fully staged production of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the 2020-21 season.

“It’s hard to think of a work that is as inextricably linked to the biography of its creator as The Ring of the Nibelung. Wagner began toying with the idea around the time of the 1848 revolution, in the aftermath of which he became a hunted man and fled to Switzerland. It was another twenty-five years before the culture exile completed his “Artwork of the Future” and he found, in the dedicated Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, a heaven for himself,” explained Herheim in his recent article for the Deutsche Oper blog.

“The theme of people fleeing death and destruction is a big part of the idea behind our version of the Ring, partly in response to the ongoing refugee crisis today,” concluded Herheim.

Stefan Herheim recently staged Handel’s “Xerxes” at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; and Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Staatsoper Hamburg, among others.

The cast for the opera includes Brandon Jovanovich in the role of Siegmund, Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde, Lise Davidsen as Sieglinde, John Lundgren in the role of Wotan, Andrew Harris as Hunding, and Annika Schlicht in the role of Fricka. The cast will also include Flurina Stucki, Aile Asszonyi, Antonia Ahyoung Kim, Irene Roberts, Ulrike Helzel, Karis Tucker, Nicole Piccolomini, Beth Taylor, and Eric Naumann.

Donald C. Runnicles, the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper, will conduct the performances. The premiere is set for Sep. 27 with the run ending on Oct. 11, 2020.

In a recent interview with OperaWire, Deutsche Oper Intendant Dietmar Schwarz explained the stringent safety protocols that are associated with the production of “Die Walküre.”