Twilight of the Gods (Die Götterdämmerung) by Florence Austral
In this recording from Act 1 of Twilight of the Gods (Die Götterdämmerung), Australian operatic soprano Florence Austral (1892-1968) is performing as Brünnhilde. She refuses a request from her Valkyrie sister Waltraute, on behalf of Wotan, that the ring Brünnhilde holds should be returned to the Rhinemaidens, in order to lift the curse over the gods; thus she seals the fate of the gods. The recording features the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Albert Coates. Twilight of the Gods is the last of four operas in Richard Wagner’s The Ring cycle (also known as Der Ring des Nibelungen or The Ring of the Nibelung), that first premiered in 1876.
Austral was renowned internationally for her interpretation of the most demanding of Wagner’s female roles. She made her Covent Garden debut on 16 May 1922 as Brünnhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre, and later played the same role in Siegfried. During the mid-1920s she made the first of more than 100 recordings for HMV, and she also recorded for Victor. In addition to engagements with the British National Opera Company and Berlin State Opera, Austral made successful tours to Australia, North America, and Holland, before returning to Australia in 1946.
Cover image: Florence Austral as opera character Brünnhilde, c1924. NFSA: 355118
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