Soft Valkyrie

Soft Valkyrie


Can someone whisper Die Walküre in your ear? With opera, you do not think of whispers or sighs but of strong classical voices in grand, spectacular set pieces. But the composer and game designer David Kanaga has turned Richard Wagner’s famous opera into a podcast. In Die Walküre, the second part of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen, the supreme god Wotan punishes his daughter Brünnhilde for not following his orders. He makes her mortal and locks her up in a mountain surrounded by fire. While closely following Wagner’s notes and storyline, Kanaga’s background in the world of gaming can be heard in his use of electronic instruments and sound effects full of humour, drama and mysticism. The parts are sung by an atypical cast, ranging from classically trained vocalists like Claron McFadden to the demonic voice artist Attila Csihar – sung to be listened to on headphones rather than in an opera house. The result is intimate, light and less domineering than the original. One might even say: soft. A warm narrating voice turns Wagner’s stage instructions into a magical radio play in which the entire drama takes place in listeners’ imagination.Each of the three acts of Die Walküre will be divided into several podcast episodes for Soft Valkyrie. The episodes of the first act will be released on June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. The episodes of the second and third acts will follow later.
When we left off, Siegmund and Sieglinde had just embarked on their incestuous adventure, leaving behind Sieglinde’s cuckolded husband Hunding to wake up to the bad news at dawn. We’ve since walked several miles from the forest of Hunding’s hut, and are now at the base of a mountain where the couple’s father spends his time–Wolf, as they called him, or Wotan, Odin–god of contracts and bad weather. It is a new day, at high noon. Let’s see what happens next.

Click here forthe full-score and for the libretto.

Soft Valkyrie

Presented and commissioned by Holland Festival in collaboration with Staatsoper Hannover and Dutch National Opera.

Full Credits

Music and libretto – Richard Wagner

English translation – Frederick Jameson

Direction & MIDI arrangement – David Kanaga


Siegmund – Bryan the Mensah

Sieglinde – Hailey Clark

Hunding – Attila Csihar

Wotan – Mattijs van de Woerd

Fricka – Nadine Secunde

Brünnhilde – Claron McFadden

Valkyries – Mercedes Arcuri (Gerhilde, Helmwige), Clara Nadesdin (Ortlinde, Siegrune), Weronika Rabek (Waltraute, Grimgerde), Monika Walerowicz (Rossweisse, Schwertleite)


MIDI Piano, Act 1 – Marc Evanstein

MIDI Piano, act 2 and 3 – Ernst Munneke

Additional Flute on Siegmund’s “Winterstürme” – Jonas Pologe

SFX packs – Ableton, SOPHIE, Spectrasonics


Casting – David Kanaga, Christian Carlstedt

Dramaturgy – Laura Roling, Manon Schreurs

Commissioned and co-produced by Holland Festival, Dutch National Opera, Staatsoper Hannover

With the support of NTR Radio 4

Special thanks to Sound department Staatstheater Hannover, Soho Square Studios London, Splendor Amsterdam, Jochem Valkenburg, Jasper Berben

Recent Episodes

  • Episode 5 – Wotan & Brunhilde (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 6 – Fricka (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 7 – Wolf’s Lore 1 (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 8 – Wolf’s Lore 2 (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 9 – Brother & Sister, the Morning After (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 10 – The Annunciation of Death (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 11 – Battle! (Act 2)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 12 – The Other Valkyries (Act 3)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 13 – Wotan’s Rage, etc. (Act 3)

    4 months ago
  • Episode 14 – Twilight Part 1 (Act 3)

    4 months ago