Siegmund in 'The Walkure' by Richard Wagner is the real hero of the opera tetralogy. Free music and video downloads, posters and pictures.

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Meet the Characters

  • Rheingold

  • Walkure

  • Siegfried

  • Twilight of the Gods
  • Wotan-Wälse
  • Rhinemaidens

  • Hagen

  • Sieglinde

  • Siegfried

  • Brünnhilde

  • Mime the dwarf

  • Loge

  • Siegmund :

    He is the favourite of contemporary directors, although formerly he appeared as an eternal " looser ", someone feeling sorry for himself, lamenting and immature. This sympathy is credibly due to the repelling effect of Siegfried compared to him the "wolf cub" seems more human. And then... The adventure of the twins is designed to inspire sympathy.

    Let us try to understand better this charming character, albeit somewhat a little bit annoying by his systematic vocation for misfortune. First of all what is obvious is his total ignorance of the manipulation of which he is the subject. He takes everything to the first degree, as later his son Siegfried will do.

    It will be necessary that Sieglinde explain their gemellarity to him, so that he understands it. Siegmund like Siegfried love freedom and reject the laws. Alive in the present moment, he is incapable of establishing the slightest link of cause and effect. He merely notices that his values are opposite to those of society, without trying neither to adapt himself to them nor to wonder about their validity. He is an epic character by his long story of pursuing. He likes story telling.

    A second trait of the man (one supposes him a young person, strong, brave and doubtless beautiful), is his true capacity to fall in love. Love that comes as lightning bolt is the sign of longing and has nothing sexual. The character dreams to escape the double nightmare into which Wolfe plunged him without asking: excommunication and pursuit. He strives for friendship and love but also for the conquest of the virility promised by his father. He conceals treasures of tenderness but also drives for death, which will turn against him and the pregnant Sieglinde when he will be forced into a dead end. The young man prefers to kill himself and his twin bride than to surrender to the mercy of his enemies. One can interpret this suicidal decision in a number of ways. One can suppose that he expects from his enemies a massacre preceded by humiliation: rape and torture.

    He is well placed to know the fate reserved for him; the girl he defended was killed. We can imagine the punishment reserved by the servants of Fricka - Neidingen for incest and adultery! It is the most plausible version.

    There exists a second one, contradictory to the first. He cannot stand the idea of separation. He dies, thus his twin bride should also disappear. At first he prefers go down to hell (at Hella) rather than to lead a life of enjoyment without his partner.

    It is not forbidden to see a certain male chauvinism in this affection. Sieglinde is his property and he cannot stand to see it falling in foreign hands. After all, as long as there is life there is hope, a hope that he denies to his wife and son.

    A third characteristic of Siegmund is his unmistakable humanity. For the first time in the Ring, appears a being inspired by Freia. Siegmund is sensitive to the beauty of Nature (the song of the Spring) and the beauty of a woman. This feeling inspires him one of the rare poetic passages of all the tetralogy. He gives a wholesome lesson to the Walkyrie, which is surprised to see to prefer a poor sick woman to the bliss of Wotan's wishmaidens. For the first time also, appears love, tenderness, and the feelings of Siegmund are contagious. They are passed on to the Walkyrie, who, upset, will find the stamina to oppose to the Iron Law of Power.

    Finally, Siegmund is brave. Not in the style of the young unconscious who plays his life at the roulette because he believes he is immortal. But as any conscious being who knows suffering and fear, and who being true to himself carries the burden of life, which he hates. This courage takes several forms: heroic when he tears away Nothung from its sheath and when he faces Hunding in fight, quiet and noble when he resists the Walkyrie and accepts death.

    It is these qualities of authenticity, courage and tenderness that moved the public and the directors. Some saw in Siegmund the only one being really free in the Ring and all prefer him to his son.

    What does the music tell us about his character? The theme, which is connected with him officially, is depressive and grave; it arises from the first notes of the theme of the Lance.

    The one that describes the fate of wolves, the Wälsungen, consists of three successive sections: a sort of heroic and funeral march, which accelerated turns into aggressive fanfare, this march is followed by a plaintive theme evoking an unfortunate fate, finally a third very sweet and almost comforting, major section resulting in a desperate conclusion.But when Siegmund evokes women in one way or another, the vocal line takes on extreme inflections of sweetness and longing joined to a delicacy of nuances which contrasts strongly with the heroic and aggressive breaks of the stories. What else can one add?

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