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(Wagner: Das Rheingold). Ten. He is the God of Fire and most cunning of the gods. It was Loge who urged Wotan to offer Freia as payment to the giants for building Valhalla, promising that when the time came to settle, he would find a way out. Loge brings the news of Alberich stealing the gold from the Rhinemaidens and explains the magic powers of the Ring. Overhearing this (as Loge intended them to), the giants are prepared to accept the gold in lieu of Freia. Loge accompanies Wotan to find Alberich, from whom they will steal the gold. When they return with the hoard, Loge helps to pile up the gold in front of Freia as instructed by the giants. When Freia is free and Wotan is ready to leave, Loge joins the other gods crossing the rainbow bridge into Valhalla, but he alone realizes that, in their greed to rule the world, the gods are hastening their own end. Arias: Umsonnst such’ ich (‘In vain have I searched’); Wenn doch fasste nicht Wunder (‘Who would not feel wonder); Ihrem Ende eilen sie zu (‘They hasten to their end’).

Loge does not appear in the rest of Der Ring, but in Die Walküre, after Wotan has condemned his daughter Brünnhilde to sleep on a rock, he summons up Loge to provide a circle of fire round her to ensure that only a true hero will be able to reach and claim her. The part of Loge is a gift to a character tenor, and many have made a speciality of the role. In recent years these have included Emile Belcourt, Heinz Zednik, Robert Tear, Graham Clark, Kenneth Riegel, Philip Langridge, Nigel Douglas, and Peter Bronder. In addition to these, many an overtly Heldentenor has (to use Alan Blyth's phrase) ‘slummed it’ as Loge later in his career, and no doubt enjoyed the change. These include Wolfgang Windgassen, Jess Thomas, Manfred Jung, and Siegfried Jerusalem (more usually heard as Siegfried or Tristan). Created (1869) by Heinrich Vogl.

Subjects: Opera.

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