The National Opera presents, for the first time in its history, one of the most popular operas in the repertoire – Richard Wagner’s masterpiece “The Valkyrie”-, in an international co-production with the Royal Danish Opera. From March 10 for six performances at the Stavros Niarchos Hallmusically directed by Philippe Oguen and directed by John Fuljames.

“Valkyria” is the first work by Richard Wagner to be presented in the new premises of the National Opera at the SNFCC. This is the second part of Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” tetralogy and certainly the most popular. Very often “Valkyria” is presented independently, as it includes exciting music of excellent quality and seduction and is characterized as a work that is moving, but also dramatically concentrated.

The composition of this colossal work, modeled on Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy, occupied Wagner for many years. It is the fruit of the ideological ferments that dominated the German space during the middle of the 19th century and of which the composer participated in the period from 1841 to 1849 during his stay in Dresden.

Drawing inspiration from the mythology of the countries of the North, Wagner – who has also written the poetic text of the work – wanted through the “Ring” to criticize the proto-industrial society of his time, the institution of marriage and power relations. Musically, “Valkyria” is an intensely dramatic work with many musical innovations that defined the evolution of music and influenced subsequent generations of composers. The Gallop of the Valkyries, which Francis Ford Coppola used in his film Revelation Now (1979), remains famous.

For its first “Valkyria”, the National Opera entrusted the direction to the distinguished British director John Fuljames, who has directed “Don Giovanni” and “Gianni Scicchi” for ELLS. After completing his tenure as Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera, Fuljames took up the position of Director of the University of Oxford’s Program in Culture and Humanities. He has directed in the biggest opera theaters of the world, such as La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden, Real Madrid, Lycée de Barcelona, ​​Satelle in Paris, etc.

The director notes about the production: “We set the opera in a fictional universe that balances the mythical with the real. This world echoes today without being limited to a specific time and place. The central character of the opera is actually Botan – as he comes to terms with the consequences of his choices, realizing that his grand plan will fall apart and that he must abandon first his son and then his daughter and face his own death . This death, however, is not only his own – it is also understood in a wider ecological context, since the world he has exploited is also facing a death. We see him as a twenty-first-century power figure—not a nineteenth-century industrialist as he is so often portrayed, but instead a creative entrepreneur; perhaps the architect or leader of a vast media empire.”

The creative team is rounded out by associate director Johanne Holten, set and costume designer Tom Scutt, associate set designer David Allen and lighting designer DM Wood.

It is conducted by the acclaimed French conductor Philippe Auguin, who has distinguished himself internationally in Wagner’s works. For the extremely demanding main roles of the play, the National Opera has secured leading Wagnerian singers of international renown, such as the German tenor Stefan Finke, who will perform the role of Sigmund, the acclaimed Greek bassist Petros Magoulas, who will perform the role of Huding , the Finnish baritone Tommy Hakala in the role of Botan, the outstanding British dramatic soprano Allison Oakes in the role of Siglinde and Kathryn Foster, established worldwide as one of the best Brunhilde of our time. The role of Frika will be shared by middle voices Marina Prudenskaya and Hanne Fischer. The role of Helmvigge will be performed by Katerina Sandmeier, Gerhilde by Violetta Lusta, Ortlinde by Taxiarchoula Kanati, Valtraute by Nefeli Kotseli, Zigrune by Dimitra Kalaitzi-Tilikidou, Rosvaise by Fotini Athanasaki, Grimgerde by Anna Tselika and Svertlaite Chrysanthi Spitadis.

The production is implemented with the support of the donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to strengthen the artistic extroversion of the National Opera.

Ticket prices: from 15 to 120 euros