The third opera.
About 4 hours 25 minutes plus two intervals.
Three acts which tell Siegfried’s tale up to his meeting Brunhilde
About 18 years have passed since the events of Die Walküre.
– Sieglinde has died in childbirth;
– Siegfried, her son, has been adopted by Albericch’s brother, Mime
– Fafnir has turned himself into a dragon and guards the gold.
– Mime is trying to make a sword so Siegfried can kill the dragon;
– Mime plans to claim the gold and the ring for himself.
Act 1 – Mime’s Cave
Mime forges a sword. Siegfried returns and shatters the sword, as he has all the others. They bicker and argue. Mime tells Siegfried how he found his mother and took him in. He shows Siegfried the shards of Northung. Siegfried instructs Mime to reforge the sword, but Mime lacks the necessary skill. Siegfried leaves in a huff.
Wotan, disguised as a wanderer, visits Mime. They play a quizzing game which Mime loses. Wotan tells Mime that only someone who knows no fear can reforge the sword, and that person will also claim his life.
Siegfried returns and Mime realises he is the one who knows no fear. Afraid for his own life he tells Siegfried about Fafnir and the gold and offers to take him to the cave. Siegfried decides to reforge Northung himself and gets to work. The sword is reforged. Mime drafts a poisoned drink to offer Siegfried should he succeed in slaying Fafnir.
Act 2 – Fafnir’s Cave
Wotan, as The Wanderer, finds Alberich at the entrance to Fafner’s cave. Alberich tells Wotan of his plan to regain the ring. Wotan wakes the dragon and Alberich warns Fafnir that a hero is coming to kill him, and offers to help in return for the ring. Fafner declines and goes back to sleep.
Siegfried and Mime arrive at the cave. Mime leaves again after telling Siegfried he must kill the dragon to learn fear. Fafnir appears and Siegfird slays him with Northung
With his last breath Fafnir warns Sigfried he will be bterayed. Fafnir’s blood has the sideaffect of enabling Siegfrid to understand birds – a nearby woodbird tells him about the Tarnhelm and ring and Siegfried takes them.
Mime tries to poison Siegfried but his new powers save him and he kills Mime. The woodbird tells Siegfried of a sleeping woman surrounded by fire and he decides to investigate.
Act 3 – Brunhilde’s Rock
Wotan and Erda discuss the end of the Gods. Wotan confirms their fate rests with Siegfried and Brünhilde.
Wotan confronts Siegfried, who mocks him and shatters his spear with Northung.
Siegfried braves the fire and discovers Brünhilde.
He awakes her with a kiss and, of course, they fall instantly in love.