Inside the Houston Symphony

Taking you behind the music–one concert at a time!

Before Frodo … there was Siegfried

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In the Houston Symphony’s Wagner’s “Ring” Without Words, you’ll be able to follow this fantastic storyline as it’s projected on our in-house video screens, all while the orchestra plays its greatest themes.

Before Frodo, there was Siegfried

Not Siegfried from Siegfried and Roy … NOT THEM!  Wagner’s “Ring” Cycle is a series of four operas that not only marked a revolution in musical theater, but also paved the way for TV shows that leave us hanging for months, waiting for the next season.

Great marketing, really! But waiting is no fun …

We say that because Richard Wagner, the genius behind these masterpieces, wrote the two first operas, Das Rheingold ( The Rhine Gold) and Die Walküre (the Valkyrie), then starved his fans for twelve years before laying the final notes on Siegfried and the final installation, Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods).  The whole thing happened in a 30-year span. That’s way too long to wait for the season finale!

But we digress …

Frodo was a hero.  Siegfried was a hero.  Frodo was fearless.  Siegfried was fearless – at least ‘til he saw the first woman he’s ever seen.  You see, the poor hero was brought up by a dwarf.  He didn’t know any better.  Or did he?  But Frodo was too.  Brought up by a dwarf, that is. Wait … it was a Hobbit!

Now I’m confused …

Sad as it is, Siegfried does not live to see the end of Wagner’s tetralogy.  On the other hand, Frodo does conquer evil at the end.

Tolkien actually did study Wagner’s operas before writing his books.  Though the stories are similar, they are the product of two incredibly creative geniuses.


Written by Houston Symphony

September 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

One Response

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  1. I agree that both are geniuses. But this generation could highly identify with Tolkien’s Frodo, especially because of the film adaptation. But my parents brought me up with Wagner, and always, I will be a fan.

    North Carolina DUI

    November 25, 2010 at 12:52 am

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