Die Hard (At The Opera)

I never thought I’d ever look forward to seeing an opera, but KCTS is showing Die Walküre in its entirety tomorrow, and seeing as I’m interested in the music of Richard Wagner, I’m definitely intending to watch this.

It’s about a 4 hour performance, I’ve heard it before but considering that it’s in German, which I don’t know a word of, it’s a little difficult to follow what’s going on. I’ve never seen it performed before, perhaps the visual will help explain the story and maybe there’ll be subtitles, which will help a lot. At least I’m assuming it’s going to be in German, I don’t know if there’s any English versions of it but it might be a good idea for those of us who only speak English. On the other hand, it might not translate well and sound weird so maybe it’s better to keep it in its original language. It would be nice if I knew any German at all so I could follow along while listening but I don’t see that happening.

I don’t know a lot about the opera itself, other than it’s the second in a series of four operas which comprise the Ring Cycle. Die Walküre contains a musical sequence called Ride of the Valkyries, which most people have heard in their lifetime but might not know it. The most famous instance of it appears in the classic movie Apocalypse Now, in the iconic scene where the helicopters are leaving to bomb a Vietnamese village. One of the soldiers states that the music was chosen to scare the enemy, it’s a good choice. It’s a dramatic piece and one of my favorite classical music sequences.

If I ever were to go to an opera, it would be this one. Having listened to it before, I have a vague idea of what to expect, but seeing a video performance of it will be the next best thing to being there if I never do get to see it live.


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