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Monday, April 09, 2012

The Rheinmaidens of Wagner: Diana Damrau as Woglinde

H.A.Guerber (?) - Illustration of the Rhinemaidens
no copyright infringement intended

The Rhinemaidens (die Rheintöchter): three water-nymphs (Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde) from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung).

Of the 34 characters in the Ring cycle, the three Rhinemaidens are the only ones who did not originate in the Old Norse Eddas. Wagner created his Rhinemaidens from other legends and myths, most notably the Nibelungenlied which contains stories involving nixies or mermaids. The key concepts associated with the Rhinemaidens in the Ring opera cycle—their flawed guardianship of the Rhine gold, and the condition (the renunciation of love) through which the gold could be stolen from them and then transformed into a means of obtaining world power—are wholly Wagner's own invention, and are the elements that initiate and propel the entire drama.

Diana Damrau was a student of Romanian soprano Carmen Hanganu.

(It's Time for Wagner)

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