Siegfried grows up with Mime, the dwarf – unlovingly mollycoddled and kept ignorant. That’s because Mime has just one goal: Siegfried, the hero, is to win the Ring for him, the ring that's protected by the dragon Fafner. To do so, all he needs is a single sword: Nothung. Mime has its broken pieces, but he is unable to forge them together. Time is pressing because Siegfried's urge for freedom is growing. Votan, wandering about disguised as a traveller, presents Mime with the solution in a bet: "Only one who knows no fear can forge Nothung anew." Siegfried forges the sword, wins the Ring and slays Mime, whose deceitfulness has been revealed thanks to a talkative bird. The bird also tells Siegfried the way to a maiden asleep in burning embers – a new test of courage for the fearless hero, this time associated with a new world of feeling: Brünnhilde is the first woman in Siegfried's life. What might sound like a happy ending leads instead further into the depths of the Ring's curse: fear and envy eat away at those who know of the Ring's power! Siegfried knows nothing of that. He’s a rosy hero searching for his place in the world – but this is a rotten world.
Kaminski ON AIR: The ring of the Nibelung July 11-15, 2015