Wagner's Götterdämmerung

Scheduling Note: This week's broadcast starts at 12 noon

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried, Iain Paterson as Gunther, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Gutrune and Hans-Peter König as Hagen in 'Götterdämmerung' (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

What’s your favorite aspect of Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung? The fact that the title loosely translates to mean the Twilight of the Gods or a disastrous conclusion of events? Is it Wagner's dramatic legacy? Or purely and simply the remarkable music? Bringing the epic “Ring Cycle” to its cataclysmic ending, the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Götterdämmerung is epic in every possible sense. Tune in and be moved, indeed.

Fabio Luisi leads a cast that includes soprano Deborah Voigt, making her Met debut as Brünnhilde, and Jay Hunter Morris, who stepped into the title role Wagner’s Siegfried earlier this season. Bass-baritone Eric Owens plays Alberich.

The distinguished company of Wagnerians also includes Wendy Bryn Harmer as Gutrune, Waltraud Meier as Waltraute, Hans-Peter König as Hagen, and Iain Paterson as Gunther.

Full Cast:

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Gutrune: Wendy Bryn Harmer
Waltraute: Waltraud Meier
Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris
Gunter: Iain Paterson
Alberich: Eric Owens
Hagen: Hans-Peter König
Production: Robert Lepage

Comments [17]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The Siegfried of Gotterdammerung is a mature man, less lusty and teenager-like than the young Siegfried but still stoically totally convinced in his own reasoned actions, and defensive approach, so much so as to always recount his valiant combat and killing of the dragon Fafner as his credentials, his resume! SIEGFRIED, Wagner's hero of heroes, faulted, vulnerable, yet basically idealistic and iconically a threat to the establishment and its RULES WITHOUT REFERENCE TO MORALS. Wotan's submission to his wife Fricka in Die Walkure resulting in the killing of Siegmund, Wotan's killing of Erda, who has lost her touch with the current situation with Brunnhilde now bound to accept anyone who can pass thru the fire, occurring in the opera SIEGFRIED, the greed of brother killing brother, Fafner killing his fellow giant brother Fasolt in Das Rheingold, to gain the all-powerful RING, made of the Gold stolen from the Rhinemaidens by Alberich in the opening opera Das Rheingold, then Fafner, a greedy hoarder turning himself into a dragon to guard for himself only the HOARD of gold, the Ring, and the tarnhelm, which as a fabric can grant any wish of its possesor, including change of appearance and swift travel. ALL these and many more construct an epic so large that, outside of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings of the Creation and the Last Judgment, the RING is the most fantastic artistic creation, IMHO. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where voice instruction, and training for all the roles of Wagner and Shakespeare are coached. I also am an opera composer, "Shakespere" and "The Political Shakespeare." My websites; WagnerOpera.com, ShakespeareOpera.com and RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com, where 37 complete selections from my four three-hour long solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, recorded LIVE, may be heard, free, by downloading at the Recorded Selections venue.

Apr. 21 2012 09:23 AM

Yeah, Vickers who 1st recorded with Nilsson in 1961 but ducked her FOR YEARS in Tristan. He only sang Act2 with her in a special b'cast on 4/11/81 at the Met. What a brave heldentenor he.

Feb. 14 2012 06:22 PM
Steve from Brooklyn

We're all familiar with Alberich's curse. However, I've succumbed to a different one known as the curse of Birgit Nilsson. The curse plays out by preventing the enjoying of performances of any work the accursed ever heard her sing. I've been waiting more than 35 years for some soprano to come along and lift this curse, but, alas, it hasn't happened. Not by a long shot. As for Deborah Voigt, she does just fine as long as she sticks to the role of Sieglinde.

Yes, there never was a fitting Siegfried to Nilsson's Brünhilde, but on one extraordinary evening at the Met there was a fitting Tristan to her Isolde: Jon Vickers.

Feb. 13 2012 06:22 PM
David Owen

Saw the broadcast in movie theater and was aware of "Debbie's" shortcomings from the reviews, however with the volume cranked up and the up close images of her...she was magnificient in her portrayal of Brun.... Her entrance in the third act with the slain Siegfried was devastating and the overflow of the Rhine and destruction of Valhalla morphing into the Rhine again (as in the opening of Das Rheingold) made me a believe in the bloody planks.

Feb. 13 2012 08:41 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha,l NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

My memories of studying voice with the Wagnerian Met Opera legrends Friedrich Schorr, Alexander Kipnis, Karin Branzell, and Margarete Matzenauer and hearing the first three's Met performances on recordings and in the Met audience at performances of Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr and Kirsten Flagstad, I simply cannot be enthused about any of the singers on today's broadcast. THE ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS UNDER THE MASTERFUL CONDUCTING OF FABIO LUISI WAS THE SMASH HIT OF THE PERFORMANCE !!! I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and opera composer ("Shaksepeare" & "The Political Shakespeare"). I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I teach all the Wagner and Shakespeare roles. My website www.Wagneropera.com has a section, "Recorded Selections," at which one may download live performances, free, of 37 out of the 100 selections that I sang in 4 three hour long solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall.

Feb. 11 2012 06:11 PM

Scooping & omitting consonants. The signs of a voice in trouble.

Feb. 11 2012 05:37 PM

Why doesn't Gelb stream Met Titles with broadcast?

Feb. 11 2012 02:50 PM

The only other tenor who was a good partner for Nilsson's Brunhilde was Hans Hopf. But we will NEVER hear the like of Nilsson again.

Feb. 11 2012 02:18 PM

Admirable idea, use the planks from the machine for the pyre & then we can bring back the beloved previous Ring production. Bravo.

Feb. 11 2012 02:15 PM
(Hu)man from NYC

I was so fortunate to have heard Birgit Nilsson's last "Ring" at the Met in the '70s. She was the last Brunnhilde the West has been allowed. There has not been one since. Jess Thomas was the Siegfried in the Gotterdammerung. Alas, then, I never heard a Siegfried for Nilsson's Brunnhilde.

Feb. 11 2012 02:14 PM
Greg from Brooklyn

Now well into Act I of broadcast. Glad to hear it (even Debbie's doing well!), & to be able to concentrate on the music, without being distracted by what The Machine was doing on stage. Tommassini's review got it right: last paragraph suggests piling up the planks that make up the set and using them for the pyre, rather than "stout logs."

Feb. 11 2012 01:55 PM

I am sorry that the internet feed seems to be broken today

Feb. 11 2012 12:05 PM
crdrew from nyc

send that set to Valhalla and the director{?} with it!

Looking forward to hearing it .

Feb. 11 2012 11:43 AM

Most people can only "judge" a singer by how they sound not on how much they weigh? Debbie cannot handle the high notes in Gotter. Did you think perhaps some of that thunderous applause was "polite pity" applause because they know the story of what happened at Covent Garden & were applauding a gallant effort. Go back about 20 yrs., all we had were audio to "judge" a singer. As I said, I like Debbie & was not knocking her, so don't be quick to jump to her defense because of something I didn't say. I have ears & have heard many greats in this role, Debbie is not one of them. Listen to her drop the first consonant of words which are above "G", that's because she can't hit 'em any longer. The voice constricts, just as Eaglen. (That should cause a fire-storm). As for my Beduzza Concetta, I agree.As they are shooting the flaming arrows at the funeral boat with Kirk in it, that music would have been great.Take care of yourself.

Feb. 11 2012 11:39 AM

I really don't appreciate the continued parroting of criticism from some circles regarding Deborah Voigt, It is clear that these people did not see her in the Brunhilde role. I did. She brought the house down on opening night and received thunderous applause by an extraordinarily appreciative audience. It's easy to be an arm chair critic, it's much harder being a great artist.

Feb. 11 2012 11:27 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Greetings Beduzza Cavanaugh,
Hope you are well and thanks for asking this old lady. This production got a terrible review from the critics. Do not know if it was deserved.
Will probably only listen to Rhine Journey and Funeral Music and Immolation.
Really busy today. The funeral music should have been used in the film "The Vikings". There is a viking funeral at the end of the film. Great film, cinematography by Jack Cardiff. I told my family that I would like Siegfried funeral music played for me when I croak and being cremated. Gruesome, yes? Take care and tante belle cose.

Feb. 11 2012 10:25 AM

O beduzza. Hope you are well. I like Debbie Voigt. I think what Covent Garden did was terrible. That being said, Brunhilde is not for her. Tuesday she was indisposed & replaced by another soprano who was able to sing that devastatingly difficult role. I'm not happy in saying this about Debbie because she didn't deserve what happened to her. She's trying but she can't handle Brunhilde. That's just my opinion, I'm not trying to knock her or bring her down or trying to get anyone to agree with me. I hope all goes well today.

Feb. 10 2012 09:22 PM

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