Fear and the Hero

Star Wars may have popularized the trope of "boy destined to become a hero" and the summer blockbuster, but Richard Wagner scaled those same peaks a hundred years earlier with Siegfried, the penultimate chapter of his Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle. Siegfried is a young man living wild in the woods with the smith, Mime. Siegfried is strong and brave, but more importantly, he's fearless. His strength helps him reforge his father's broken magical sword, Nothung, but it's his lack of fear that allows him to slay a dragon, break the god Wotan's enchanted spear and then walk through the flames that imprison the beautiful Brunnhilde. Victory after victory come to Siegfried, but this is opera; bad things are in his future, and he will learn fear. Union Avenue Opera closes out its twentieth season with a production of Richard Wagner's Siegfried, reduced and adapted by Jonathan Dove. Siegfried is performed in German at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (August 22 through 30) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 22. Continues through Aug. 30, 2014

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