Thursday, November 04, 2010

Das Rheingold: The Rhine Maidens Never Stop Mourning the Loss of Their Gold

The gods prepare to enter their new home.  Wotan had paid for the home with the gold treasure that had been stolen from the Rhine Maidens.  Wotan leads the gods across the bridge to the castle, which he names Valhalla. Fricka, Wotan's wife, asks him about the name, and he replies enigmatically that its meaning will become clear when his plans come to fruition.

Loge, who knows that the end of the gods is coming, does not follow the others into Valhalla; he tells the audience that he is tempted to destroy the gods and all they have deceitfully acquired.

Far below, the Rhine maidens mourn the loss of their gold and proclaim that the glory of the gods is only an illusion.  For them, the loss of their gold is a wound that will not heal.  Wotan instructs Loge to tell the Rhine Maidens to stop their kvetching.  The Rhine Maidens will not be intimidated, even by Wotan, the chief god.  They continue on, singing their lament. Such are the Rhine Maidens' daily struggles.  The curtain falls.

Rhinegold! Rhinegold!
Purest gold!
How clear and bright
you once shone on us!
For your lustre
we now lament!
Give us the gold!
O give us its glory again!


What lamenting assails me here?


The Rhine Maidens
lament their looted gold.


Accursed nymphs!
to Loge
Stop them annoying us!