(Wagner: Das Rheingold; Siegfried). Cont. Earth goddess. Mother of the three Norns. Also mother, by Wotan, of the nine Valkyries. She rises from the earth only when she sees impending disaster.
Das Rheingold: She first appears at the point where Wotan refuses to surrender the Ring to the giants in payment for their building of Valhalla, and Erda warns him that he will be a victim of the curse which Alberich has put on the Ring and will bring about the earth's—and his own—downfall.
Siegfried: Wotan summons Erda from the depths to ask her how he can overcome all his fears. He also tells her that, now she has borne him the nine Valkyries, he has no further use for her. Aria: Weiche, Wotan, weiche! (‘Yield, Wotan, yield’); Stark ruft das Lied (‘Strong is the call of your song’). Created (R. 1869) by Therese Seehofer; (S. 1876) by Luise Jaide.