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The Valkyrie: Page 293
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The Valkyrie

The Valkyrie: Act One, Scene One - Hunding's hut: Siegmund and Sieglinde 

[V.1.1: A]

The Valkyrie begins with an orchestral prelude representing Wotan’s storm driving his mortal son Siegmund through the forest. He is desperate to escape hostile clansmen who wish to avenge the death of their kinsmen whom Siegmund has slain. Siegmund had striven futilely to intervene to save a woman, a stranger, from being forced by her relatives into a loveless, arranged marriage, and in killing her brothers brought down the storm of their clan upon him:

(Prelude - storm: The curtain rises. The interior of a dwelling. The room is built around the trunk of a mighty ash-tree, which forms its central point. Downstage left is the hearth, behind it the storeroom; at the back of the stage is the main entrance to the room; upstage right, steps lead up to an inner chamber; on the same side, at the front of the stage, is a table, behind it a broad bench, let into the wall, and wooden stools in front of it. The stage remains empty for a while; outside, a storm is on the point of abating. [[ #60 ]]; [[ #61 ]] Siegmund opens the main door from outside and enters. #60>[[ #62 ]] He keeps his hand on the latch and looks around the room: he seems exhausted by extreme exertion; it is evident from his clothing and appearance that he is on the run. Seeing no one, he closes the door behind him and, (#5 vari:) [this vari sounds similar to that which accompanied Wotan and Loge as they emerged from Nibelheim in R.3-4 with the bound Alberich in tow] with the extreme effort of someone half-dead with exhaustion, moves towards the hearth, where he throws himself down on a bear-skin rug.)

Siegmund: Whosoever’s hearth this may be, here shall I have to rest. (Siegmund sinks back and remains motionless.)

[#24: Sieglinde is surprised to see that a stranger, not her husband Hunding, has come in] (…)

Sieglinde: An unknown man! I must ask who he is. (She comes closer: #5 vari?) (…) Weary he lies from the toils of his way here: - has he lost consciousness? Could he be ill? – (She bends over him and listens: #62; [[ #63 ]]) (…) … stout-hearted the man seems to me, though he sank wearily down. (#62) (…)

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