Soft Valkyrie

Richard Wagner, David Kanaga (composition and arrangement), Stephen Fry (narrator), Bryan the Mensah (Siegmund), Hailey Clark (Sieglinde), Attila Csihar (Hunding), Mattijs van de Woerd (Wotan), Nadine Secunde (Fricka), Claron McFadden (Brünnhilde)

Can someone whisper Die Walküre in your ear? With opera, you do not think of whispers or sighs but of strong classical voices in grand, spectacular set pieces. But the composer and game designer David Kanaga has turned Richard Wagner’s famous opera into a podcast. In Die Walküre, the second part of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen, the supreme god Wotan punishes his daughter Brünnhilde for not following his orders. He makes her mortal and locks her up in a mountain surrounded by fire. While closely following Wagner’s notes and storyline, Kanaga’s background in the world of gaming can be heard in his use of electronic instruments and sound effects full of humour, drama and mysticism. The parts are sung by an atypical cast, ranging from classically trained vocalists like Claron McFadden to the demonic voice artist Attila Csihar – sung to be listened to on headphones rather than in an opera house. The result is intimate, light and less domineering than the original. One might even say: soft. A warm narrating voice turns Wagner’s stage instructions into a magical radio play in which the entire drama takes place in listeners’ imagination.Each of the three acts of Die Walküre will be divided into several podcast episodes for Soft Valkyrie. The episodes of the first act will be released on June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. The episodes of the second and third acts will follow later.

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