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A new Wagner production in Cēsis this summer

Updated: Jun 27, 2023


A new Wagner production in Cēsis this summer


Cēsis Art Festival and Cēsis Concert Hall present the ‘Siegfried’ opera

As a new contribution to the ‘Cēsis Wagneriana’, 29 July 2023 will see the Cēsis Art Festival and Cēsis Concert Hall jointly present a performance of the third part of Richard Wagner’s opera tetralogy ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ – ‘Siegfried’, a story rich in captivating fairy tale elements, a tale of radiant love and laughing death. As always, the performance in Cēsis will gather some of the most brilliant Wagner interpreters in Europe and bring back the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, a proven asset. The baton will be in the hands of the new artistic director of the orchestra, the talented and passionate Tarmo Peltokoski.


Richard Wagner’s ‘Siegfried’ is a tale of a young man who slays a dragon and learns the power of love. Siegfried does not know fear; he craves adventure and successfully forges a hero sword. A taste of the poisonous dragon’s blood allows him to understand the language of the Woodbird. Siegfried does not even suspect that the fight for the ring of the Nibelung continues and the twilight of the gods is approaching; without as much as batting an eyelid, he crosses the magic ring of fire, kisses and wakes up Brünnhilde, put to sleep by Wotan, and finally experiences fear: he has encounter a hitherto unfamiliar desire. The opera is crowned by a jubilant song of praise to ‘radiant love, laughing death’ by Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie who has lost her immortality, and the naïve hero Siegfried.


The concert performance at Cēsis Concert Hall will star some of the world’s leading opera singers at the prime of their career. The title role will be performed by Michael Weinius, who was an excellent Siegmund in the 2019 rendering of ‘Die Walküre’ in Cēsis. This will be our first meeting with the award-winning internationally sought-after character tenor Andreas Conrad as the Niebelung Mime. The role of the Traveller a.k.a. Wotan will be sung by the excellent Oliver Zwarg, who appeared as Kurwenal in the Cēsis version of ‘Tristan und Isolde’ and has sung Alberich in the Latvian National Opera production of ‘Das Rheingold’. The Lithuanian dramatic soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė, who is well known in Latvia, is taking on the complex role of Brünnhilde, and we will hear the brilliant Swedish contralto Anna Larsson as Erda in Cēsis. Fafner the Dragon will be performed by Timo Riihonen, whom we met as Hunding in ‘Die Walküre’ in Cēsis, Alberich will be sung by Armands Siliņš, and Kristīne Gailīte will embody the Woodbird.


The freshly-appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of LNSO Tarmo Peltokoski is purposefully preparing himself for a career as an opera conductor and makes no attempt to hide his delight at this opportunity to stage Wagner in Cēsis this summer: ‘This chance to conduct “Siegfried” has an enormous importance in my career, particularly since my discovery of Wagner’s music back in 2012 was a turning point in my life. And the first encounter with the world of Wagner for me came thanks to none other than the finale of ‘Siegfried’. I am incredibly happy and elated to know that, after eleven years of dreaming about staging this opera, this is finally about to come true.’


The visual design of the concert performance is once again in the hands of the creative duo behind the Cēsis production of ‘Tristan und Isolde’, the set designer Oleg Golovko and video artist Alexander Lobanov, who have left their native Russia to escape the political regime and now work on theatre projects in Latvia and elsewhere in Europe.


The opera music of Richard Wagner is taking root in Cēsis: in June 2019, at the fifth anniversary of Cēsis Concert Hall, we heard a concert performance of Act One of ‘Die Walküre’; a concert performance of Act Three of ‘Die Walküre’ was presented in summer 2021 on the open-air stage of Cēsis Castle Park, but in summer 2022, now back at the concert hall, we could enjoy a concert performance of ‘Tristan und Isolde’, which is nominated for the Grand Music Award in the Best Concert category.


Running from 15 July through 20 August 2023, the programme of this year’s Cēsis Art Festival will feature a number of art exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and a concert performance of Wagner’s ‘Siegfried’. The full programme will be announced shortly.


Tickets to the performance of the ‘Siegfried’ opera are available now and can be obtained at the Cēsis Concert Hall box office, the Biļešu Paradīze ticket offices and online at www.bilesuparadize.lv


The concert performance of Richard Wagner’s ‘Siegfried’ is supported by SEB Banka, LMT, Cēsis Municipality Council, State Cultural Capital Foundation, AJ Power and Moller Auto.


The event is financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and co-funded by REACT-EU Recovery Assistance Programme for relief of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Media contacts:

Egija Saļņikova E-mail: egija.salnikova@cesukoncertzale.lv Phone: +371 26171151

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