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June 2025


Duration: Approximately 4 hours and 55 minutes, intermissions included
Second day, in three acts
Libretto by Richard Wagner
Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala
New Production by Teatro alla Scala




Act 1

Prelude to Act 1

Scene 1

A cave in rocks in the forest. An orchestral introduction includes references to leitmotifs including themes relating to the original hoard plundered by the Nibelung Alberich, and one in B-flat minor associated with the Nibelungs themselves. As the curtain rises, Alberich's brother, the dwarf Mime, is forging a sword ("Zwangvolle Plage!"). Mime is plotting to obtain the ring of power originally created by his brother Alberich. He has raised the human boy Siegfried as a foster child, to kill Fafner, who obtained the ring and other treasures in the opera Das Rheingold and has since transformed himself from a giant to a dragon. Mime needs a sword for Siegfried to use, but the youth has contemptuously broken every sword Mime has made. Siegfried returns from his wanderings in the forest driving before him a large bear that terrifies Mime, and immediately breaks the new sword. After a whining speech by Mime about ingratitude, and how Mime has brought him up from a mewling infant ("Als zullendes Kind"), Siegfried senses why he keeps coming back to Mime although he despises him: he wants to know his parentage. Mime is forced to explain that he encountered Siegfried's mother, Sieglinde, when she was in labor; she died giving birth to Siegfried. He shows Siegfried the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, which she had left in his custody. Siegfried orders him to reforge the sword; however, Mime is unable to accomplish this. Siegfried departs, leaving Mime in despair ("Aus dem Wald fort in die Welt zieh’n").

Scene 2

An old man (Wotan in disguise) arrives at the door and introduces himself as the Wanderer ("Heil dir, weiser Schmied!"). In return for the hospitality due a guest, he wagers his head on answering any three questions Mime may ask. The dwarf asks the Wanderer to name the races that live beneath the ground, on the earth, and in the skies. These are the Nibelungs, the Giants, and the Gods, as the Wanderer answers correctly. When Mime still refuses hospitality, the Wanderer demands that Mime answer his three questions, or yield his own head. The Wanderer asks Mime to identify: the race most beloved of Wotan, but most harshly treated; the name of the sword that can destroy Fafner; and the person who can repair the sword. Mime can answer only the first two questions: the Wälsungs (Siegmund and Sieglinde whose tale is told in the opera Die Walküre) and the sword Nothung. Wotan tells him that only "he who does not know fear" can reforge Nothung, and abstains from taking Mime's head, leaving it for that person.

Scene 3

Mime despairs as he imagines the ferocity of the dragon Fafner, while "the orchestra paints a dazzling picture of flickering lights and roaring flames" ("Verfluchtes Licht!"). Siegfried returns and is annoyed by Mime's lack of progress. Mime realizes that Siegfried is "the one who does not know fear" and that unless he can instill fear in him, Siegfried will kill him as the Wanderer foretold. He tells Siegfried that fear is an essential craft; Siegfried is eager to learn it, and Mime promises to teach him by taking him to Fafner ("Fühltest du nie im finst’ren Wald"). Since Mime was unable to forge Nothung, Siegfried decides to do it himself ("Nothung! Nothung! Neidliches Schwert!"). He succeeds by shredding the metal, melting it, and casting it anew. In the meantime, Mime brews a poisoned drink to offer Siegfried after the youth has defeated the dragon. After he finishes forging the sword, Siegfried demonstrates its strength by chopping the anvil in half with it ("Hoho! Hoho! Hohei! Schmiede, mein Hammer, ein hartes Schwert!" - Siegfrieds Schmiedelied - Siegfried's Forging Song).


Act 2

Prelude to Act 2 - Fafners Ruhe (Fafner's Rest)

Scene 1

Deep in the forest. The Wanderer arrives at the entrance to Fafner's cave, near which Alberich secretly keeps vigil by a rocky cliff ("Im Wald und Nacht"). The two enemies recognize each other. Alberich boasts of his plans to regain the ring and rule the world. Wotan states that he does not intend to interfere, only to observe. He even offers to awaken the dragon so that Alberich can bargain with him. Alberich warns the dragon that a hero is coming to kill him, and offers to prevent the fight in exchange for the ring. Fafner dismisses the threat, declines Alberich's offer, and returns to sleep. Wotan mysteriously advises Alberich that all things follow their own necessary ways which no one will change. He then rides away on his horse, leaving Alberich alone. Alberich withdraws and hides himself again in the rocks.

Orchestral Interlude

Scene 2

At daybreak, Siegfried and Mime arrive. After assuring Siegfried that the dragon will teach him what fear is, Mime withdraws. As Siegfried waits for the dragon to appear, he hears a woodbird singing from the trees (Waldweben - Forest Murmurs). He attempts to mimic the bird's song using a reed pipe, but is unsuccessful. He then plays a tune on his horn (Siegfrieds Hornruf - Siegfried's Horn Call), which unintentionally wakes Fafner in his cave. After a short exchange, they fight; Siegfried stabs Fafner in the heart with Nothung. Regretful about his own life Fafner in his last moments learns the boy's name and tells Siegfried to beware the might of the curse, which condemns every lord of the Ring to death, just as it has now brought death to him. When Siegfried withdraws his sword from Fafner's body, his hands are burned by the dragon's hot blood and he puts his finger in his mouth. On tasting the blood, he finds that he can understand the woodbird's song ("Hei! Siegfried gehört nun der Niblungen Hort!"). Following its instructions, he takes the ring and the magic helmet Tarnhelm from Fafner's hoard.

Scene 3

Outside the cave, Alberich and Mime meet and quarrel over the treasure ("Wohin schleichst du eilig und schlau"). Alberich hides as Siegfried comes out of the cave. Siegfried contemplates the ring but doesn't know what could be its use, viewing it just innocently as a valueless object of nature ("Was ihr mir nützt, weiß ich nicht"); nevertheless, on the forest bird's advice he decides to keep it. Then he complains to Mime that not even the dragon Fafner has taught him the meaning of fear. Mime congratulates him on having won his battle, and offers him the poisoned drink; however, the magic power of the dragon's blood allows Siegfried to read Mime's treacherous thoughts, and he stabs him to death ("Willkommen, Siegfried!"). Hidden nearby, Alberich is heard laughing spitefully at his brother's death. Siegfried puts Mime's body into the treasure cave and places Fafner's body in the cave entrance to block it. The woodbird now sings of a woman sleeping on a rock surrounded by magic fire ("Nun sing! Ich lausche dem Gesang"). Siegfried, wondering if he can learn fear from this woman, follows the bird towards the rock.


Act 3

Prelude to Act 3

Scene 1

At the foot of Brünnhilde's rock. The Wanderer summons Erda, the earth goddess ("Wache, Wala!"). Erda, appearing confused, is unable to offer any advice ("Männerthaten umdämmern mir den Muth"). Wotan informs her that he no longer fears the end of the gods; indeed, he wills it, because he now recognizes that through his own demise the true heritage of his life will be left to the independent pair free from envy in their love, to Siegfried the Wälsung, who took Alberich's ring without succumbing to its corrupting influence thanks to his fearlessness, and Brünnhilde (Erda's and Wotan's child), who will work the deed that redeems the World ("Dir Unweisen ruf’ ich’s in’s Ohr"). Dismissed, Erda sinks back into the earth.

Scene 2

Siegfried arrives, and the Wanderer questions the youth ("Mein Vöglein schwebte mir fort"). Siegfried, who does not recognize his grandfather, answers insolently and starts down the path toward Brünnhilde's rock. The Wanderer blocks his path, but Siegfried mocks him, laughing at his floppy hat and his missing eye, and breaks his spear (the symbol and source of Wotan's authority and power) with a blow from Nothung. Wotan, accepting his fate, calmly gathers up the pieces and vanishes ("Zieh’ hin! Ich kann dich nicht halten!").

Orchestral Interlude

Scene 3

Thanks to his fearlessness Siegfried passes through the ring of fire, emerging on Brünnhilde's rock ("Selige Öde auf sonniger Höh’!"). At first, he thinks the sleeping armored figure is a man. However, when he removes the armor, he finds a woman beneath. At the sight of the first woman he has ever seen and struck with the feeling of love, Siegfried at last experiences fear. In desperation, he kisses Brünnhilde, waking her from her magic sleep. Upon waking she hails the Sun and greets Siegfried as the World's Light ("Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht!"). Afraid and hesitant at first to do so, Brünnhilde is eventually won over by Siegfried's love and renounces through her love for him the world of the gods and with it her own powers ("Ewig war ich, ewig bin ich"). Together, they solemnly sing praises to love, in comparison with which the glory of the gods itself seems dimmed and in which even dying can be jubilant: "radiant love, laughing death!" ("Leuchtende Liebe, lachender Tod!")

Program and cast

Conductor (June 21): MICHAEL GÜTTLER
Videos and Projections: KATY TUCKER
Choreography: GARETH MOLE
Martial Arts Master / Circus Performances: DAVID GREEVES


Siegfried - Klaus Florian Vogt

Mime - Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke

Der Wanderer / Wotan - Michael Volle

Alberich - Ólafur Sigurdarson

Fafner - Ain Anger

Erda - Christa Mayer

Brünnhilde - Camilla Nylund

Teatro alla Scala Milano Tourist Packages

La Scala (abbreviation in Italian language for the official name Teatro alla Scala) is a world-renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala). The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Italian: Accademia Teatro alla Scala), which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management.

La Scala's season traditionally opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose's Day, the feast day of Milan's patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary.

The Museo Teatrale alla Scala (La Scala Theatre Museum), accessible from the theatre's foyer and a part of the house, contains a collection of paintings, drafts, statues, costumes, and other documents regarding La Scala's and opera history in general. La Scala also hosts the Accademia d'Arti e Mestieri dello Spettacolo (Academy for the Performing Arts). Its goal is to train a new generation of young musicians, technical staff, and dancers (at the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala, one of the Academy's divisions).


La Scala has several foyer bars: one in the stalls foyer, two bars in the “Arturo Toscanini” boxes foyer (third floor of boxes) and two in the Second Gallery foyer. Bars open before curtain-up and in the intervals.

Food and drink may not be consumed outside the foyers. Food and drink is not permitted in the auditorium, in boxes or galleries.

Next to La Scala’s main entrance you will find the Ristorante Teatro alla Scala “Il Marchesino”, run by celebrated Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi. The perfect place to enjoy an aperitif or dinner before or after the show, the restaurant is open Monday to Saturday from morning to late evening. Booking recommended.


The La Scala Shop is located inside the opera house and can be accessed from the street and from the stalls foyer during performances. The La Scala Shop sells CDs, DVDs, books and other La Scala-related items.

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