This is only the second time Karita Mattila has sung the role of Sieglinde on stage, but San Francisco Opera‘s production is her first Ring Cycle experience. The Finnish soprano only appears in the second of the four operas, Die Walküre, but describes it as a wonderful opportunity (and jokes she should learn the role of Brünnhilde if she wants to be busier during her next cycle.)
There’s more information about the remaining performances at the San Francisco Opera website.
“I did Walküre on stage in Houston three years ago, but I haven’t done… this cycle is a first for me. So it’s been a fascinating experience, but here I am experiencing it for the first time,” Mattila says. And despite the twists and (incestuous) turns that Wagner’s plot takes, she says her focus is always the music. “I don’t get stuck with a story. I mean, the story, I’ll treat it as a fairy tale, and it’s not about me, as is the case in all of those productions and the roles that I do. So I can wholeheartedly dig in and go for it, and just let the music carry me. That’s what it so fantastically does in Walküre. The music is absolutely… like a magnet, it’s enchanting, and I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating because that’s what happened to me, when I first did this on stage three years ago. I heard live the Walküre singing, the beginning of the third act. Just… tears started pouring out of my eyes.” She says being a part of the Ring is music making on another level. “What an experience. I’m closing my 35th season in the business, and I thought I have more or less experienced most things that one can imagine, but there is something in this Wagner music that is totally… just magic.”