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

624 pages,
446 illustrations

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Meet the Characters
  • Rheingold

  • Walkure

  • Siegfried

  • Twilight of the Gods
  • Wotan
  • Fricka

  • Froh

  • Loge

  • Siegfried

  • Alberich

  • Mime the dwarf

  • The giants
  • Freia :

    Freia with golden apples

    She is the sister of Fricka, Froh and Donner. Plain character, if one judges it by the importance and the number of her appearances; she is one of the essential protagonists for Deryck Cooke. Like for Loge, her role does not stop at what is shown to us, nor at what is said about her. The character lives especially in music. The theme, which is associated to her forms an arc of a sinuous colour range in its ascending part, and of a melancholic or fascinated declamation in its descent. Developed separately, it will establish the theme of love.

    Freia's theme appears every time that the subject is about beauty, feminine seduction, ideal of love, aesthetic pondering, associated generally to the radiant tone of D Major. In the " Rheingold", Freia's theme appears especially in negative, which assimilates to the notion of flight. But when Fasolt evokes the sweetness of the woman, the theme takes accents of an unspeakable longing. One finds it in the resentful evocation of bliss of the Gods by Alberich.

    In "Walkyrie", it is the downward part, which dominates; it describes the love of the twins. In "Siegfried" Freia's theme is at last completely developed and appears in all its linear purity, when the hero discovers the summits where sleeps Brünnhilde. The goddess is unmistakably associated to the notion of pure beauty, or more exactly amazed admiration for beauty, whether she is a mountain landscape or the fair hair of a young man (in fact Walkyrie). Freia gets her importance from her strategic position in the action of the Ring. She is the only force who opposes the power of the Lance and the money.


    Contrary to Fricka, she is source of youth and fertility. The dramaturgic importance of the goddess contrasts with the modesty of her appearances, and the passivity of the role, which is granted to her.

    It is all the more necessary to characterize her by an ethereal and almost ideal beauty. The irony and the distance of the stage setting are not justified for this almost Platonic dream of absolute beauty.

    To a certain extent, Wagner has already used them for the role. There is irony in the words with a double meaning: " Does Freia really seem to you to be worth this price?" - words pronounced by the goddess, transformed into a vulgar commodity which one weighs and which one exchanges. Separation by the vagueness of the themes that are associated to her (it is very difficult to sing the beginning of her theme) and as we have already indicated, by its representation almost exclusively entrusted to music and secondary to the story…


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