2019 was the last year when we could enjoy the return of Der Ring des Nibelungen to the Budapest Wagner Days live, then fans of the tetralogy once again saw their favourite performers, but this time with completely transformed choreographies and stage action, as well as 16 hours of never-seen-before video footage projected on the set and backdrop. The work of the creative team for each production was supported by the addition of a new dramaturg.
The final music drama to round out The Ring of the Nibelung sees fate fulfilled and the curse striking the owner of the ring. The naive young hero proves defenceless against intrigue and trickery. The tragedy of the fate of Brünnhilde, betrayed by Siegfried while under the influence of a potion that erases his memory, is that she herself, against her will, becomes party to his devious murder. The all-consuming fire at the end of Götterdämmerung surpasses itself as a symbol, since it is not only Siegfried and Brünnhilde who die, but the entire old order, and world of the gods, are finally destroyed. The ring, however, is freed from the curse, making it possible for a new and purer world to emerge from the ashes of the old.
"Conducting the Ring in Bayreuth never exhausts me, and the Budapest Wagner Days performances don't exhaust me either,” said Ádám Fischer about his work as a conductor at the festival. "Of course, it's not primarily the extent of the physical efforts that poses a risk, but rather getting tuned in psychologically and the need to be constantly prepared. As if one were driving 140 kilometres per hour on the motorway: for minutes on end nothing happens, but then a situation comes up where you have to react correctly in a split second in order to prevent a catastrophe. This increased focus, however, results in much more intense empathy, with all of its beauty.”
This recording was made at the performance held at Müpa Budapest on 16 June 2019.