Wagners Ring: Wo ist das Feuer jetzt?

The following video shows a projection of moving images onto the facade of Munich’s Nationaltheater on the opening night of a production of Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen” a couple of years ago. The projection is called “Weltenbrand.” This word describes the destruction and horrors of a world war, a compound noun, consisting of Welten (plural of die Welt) and der Brand (fire). In dictionaries we find also the word “Weltbrand.Weltenbrand is the “fire that engulfs the world.” According to the video description by the Bayerische Staatsoper, the projection is based on Wagner’s idea “of tearing down the opera house after the performance of the ‘Ring’ and burning the score.”

Watch this video, learn and practice the accusative and the dative by describing movement and location of an action. Below the video you will find questions.

First, let’s clarify words you might not know.

Places where an action takes place:

das Theater, das Dach (roof), der Giebel (gable), die Säule (column), plural: die Säulen; das Fenster (window), plural: die Fenster; der Eingang (entrance), der Boden (floor, ground)

Things that act (subjects):

die Flamme (flame), plural: die Flammen; das Feuer (fire), die Trümmer (as plural, debris), der Giebel (gable), der Wind (wind), die Worte (words)

Verbs that describe an action:

sein (ist, sind), fallen (fällt), gehen (geht), blasen (bläst, to blow), erscheinen (to appear)

Words that describe how a movement or another action takes place (prepositions):

auf, zwischen, nach, in, unter, über, unten (adverb: below), oben (adverb: above, up),

Please be aware that we set the destination of a movement, the object, in accusative (wohin):

der > den

das > das

die > die

die (pl) > die

On the other hand, the place where (wo) something happens, takes the dative:

der > dem

das > dem

die > der

die (pl) > den

Here we go.

Time             Question

0:12: Wo sind die Flammen?

Antwort: Die Flammen sind unter dem Giebel.

0:46 – 0:53: Was fällt wohin?

Antwort: ______________________________

1:02: Wo ist das Feuer jetzt?

Antwort: ______________________________

1:13: Wohin geht das Feuer jetzt?

Antwort: ______________________________

1:30: Wo sind die Flammen jetzt?

Antwort: ______________________________

1:56: Wohin bläst der Wind die Flammen?

Antwort: ______________________________

2:43: Wo erscheinen die Worte “Wagners Ring”?

Antwort: ______________________________

Published by


Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

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