There is no avoiding the creepy component of Richard Wagner's Die Walkure
, which is the incestuous love between the Volsung brother and sister pair, Siegmund and Sieglinde. Their relationship comes about because of Wotan's manipulation, as he desperately tries to forestall the death of all the gods by bringing about the birth of a great hero. That's where Siegmund and Sieglinde come in. Wotan's wife Fricka will not tolerate their mockery of marriage (Sieglinde is already married) and demands that they both be punished. Wotan then asks his daughter, Brunnhilde, to do the dirty work, knowing that her warrior heart will sympathize with Siegmund's plight and preserve the fruit of their love. It's a sweeping story of love, revenge and rejuvenation backed by some of the most moving music ever written. Union Avenue Opera stages Graham Vick and Jonathan Dove's adaptation of Die Walkure
at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (August 16 through 24) at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; www.unionavenueopera.org
or 314-361-2881). It's a reduced version that takes roughly three hours, but all the vital bits are present. Tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 16. Continues through Aug. 24, 2013