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Hunding


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(Wagner: Die Walküre). Bass. A mortal, husband of Sieglinde. They live in a hut with a large ash tree growing up through the roof. He is a big, warrior‐like man, of whom Sieglinde is scared. He returns home one evening to find a stranger (Siegmund) in his house, and notes the likeness between this man and Sieglinde. He is suspicious of the man and of the obvious attraction between him and Sieglinde. Hunding questions Siegmund about his background and reasons for being there. Siegmund tells how, lost in the forest, he defended a girl by killing her brothers and was set upon by their kinsmen. Hunding realizes this is the man he and his huntsmen have been chasing all day.

However, the laws of hospitality prevail and Hunding tells Siegmund he may stay the night, but tomorrow they will fight to the death. Sieglinde, preparing her husband's nightly drink, drugs it. Hunding retires to bed. Next morning he awakens to find the stranger and his wife gone. He sets off in pursuit, invoking the name of Fricka, goddess of marriage, to support him. The two men meet and fight. As Siegmund is about to thrust his sword into Hunding, Wotan appears. With his spear he shatters the sword and Hunding kills Siegmund. Wotan then gestures at Hunding, who himself falls dead. Aria: Heilig ist mein Herd (‘My hearth is holy’). Although it is not a large part (Hunding appears in about half the first act and only briefly in the second, when he kills Siegmund), the role has attracted many excellent basses, several of whom have, at other points in their career, essayed Wotan. These include Walter Soomer, Josef von Manowarda, Josef Greindl, Gottlob Frick, Martti Talvela, Karl Ridderbusch, Matti Salminen, Matthias Hölle, Hans Sotin, Manfred Schenk, and John Tomlinson. Created (1870) by Kaspar Bausewein.

Subjects: Opera.


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