Opera brings in classic character
Opera's iconic "woman warrior" — the one with the horned helmet, long braids, threatening spear and piercing voice — is taking to the stage tonight in"Die Walkure," Hawaii Opera Theatre's second of three productions for its golden anniversary season.
"Die Walkure (The Valkyrie)" literally means "she who decides fate," and in Norse mythology, the valkyries gather the heroic dead from the battlefield to build an army for Wotan, the father of the gods. There are nine valkyries, all daughters of Wotan and the goddess of the Earth, Erda. One of them is Brunnhilde, the female warrior.
"There is great depth behind Brunnhilde," said Henry Akina, stage director of "Die Walkure" and general and artistic director of HOT. "While we do smile at the universal recognition of opera's 'lady in the horned helmet,' the composer Richard Wagner's creation of this strong character is well beyond that image. She battles for the fate of all humanity and it is critical to convey. We achieve this in many ways, none of which include the use of a horned helmet."
Soprano Lori Phillips plays Brunnhilde. "Die Walkure" is a four-act opera with a singing forest bird, dragon giants and evil dwarves — much like the "Avatar" of its day. Tenor Kip Wilborn plays the role of hero Siegmund, and bass baritone Jake Gardner is Wotan.