Learn how and why Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were invented during Renaissance

624 pages,
446 illustrations

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Meet the Characters

  • Wotan
  • Rhinemaidens

  • Hagen

  • Sieglinde

  • The giants

  • Siegmund

  • Donner

  • Freia
  • Siegfried

  • Brünnhilde

  • Mime the dwarf

  • Alberich
  • Loge :

    As Freia, he exists mostly in the partition of orchestra. It is only in the prologue that one sees and hears him. Traditionally he is fire made into man. But one also assimilates him to the devil.

    Thin, dressed in red, with mephistophilic make-up, the ironic mask congealed in a grin, Loge risks to lose his enigmatic individuality.

    Chéreau knew how to accentuate the perversity and the intelligence of the character, make him live and confer him this mystery and this obsequiousness, which makes him into a distinct character.

    Kupfer dressed him in black like Chéreau and created a sort of albino and morbid phantom. Like the Rhine maidens, Loge is an element. Because of this his body movements are intimately connected to his physical demonstrations, very exactly indicated in the musical partition. These characters are perpetually in movement: swimming for some, jumping and gliding for others. A trail of fire musically and visually accompanies Loge in each of his movements as a phosphorescent aura. Only the flame will remain from the "Walküre" on.

    Loge reacts like a human being also. He has real or feigned emotions. One feels his spite barely hidden from the Gods, hatred and envy like Alberich's. He gives us the key himself: he was never totally integrated. He is merely a God of secondary importance, and has never benefited from Freia's generosities (golden apples of eternal youth). As Hagen, he has aged prematurely and wishes to annihilate the Gods.

    For a certain number of commentators, Loge is a positive character. Here some of them see Wotan's consciousness, and others see pure and speculative intelligence. An attentive exam of the poem denies both of these interpretations.

    First of all, the character betrays those who rely on him. Alberich believed to have understood it, but he did not realize that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. Who urged Wotan to sign the pact with the Giants and to promise to free Freia? Who tempted Fricka by the bait of the Gold? Who pretended to absolve Wotan by declaring: " robbing a thief is not to steal?

    Who claims that Wotan benefited twice because he benefited at the same moment from the ownership of the Ring and from its loss? Finally, who entailed Fasolt's death, by giving him the deadly advice to appropriate the Ring? The mockeries, which he does not spare to the Rhine maidens, go further than mindlessness of the Gods.

    It is so for the fatal role of the traitor. But what differentiates Loge from the other dark characters of the list is the impudence with which he gives lessons of morality. Wotan is right to cry to him: You are either completely stupid or totally perverse. Loge is unmistakably lucid and intelligent. He is ashamed to compromise with the Gods. From a certain point of view, he plays a Brecht's role of narrator. For example, he sings with an admirable lyric the beauty and the value of the love of a woman, then he outbids by praising the spells of the Ring. Or he comments on the kidnapping of Freia by the Giants, or the glory of the Gods.

    The music is also strongly distanced in the style of Kurt Weill in Mahagonny. There appears a very shrill parody of the theme of Walhalla when Loge flatters Alberich by comparing him with a radiant celestial body. Also, when he addresses Alberich the prisoner, the accompanying imitates the style of a French comic opera.

    It is no coincidence that one makes him play the role of the presenter (Lenhoff) or that one makes him close the scene curtain (Chéreau). Finally the vocal line is exceptionally "musical" and of a great expressive power, in agreement with the seduction of the character.

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