Wagner's Siegfried

Scheduling Note: This week's broadcast starts at 11 am

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jay Hunter Morris in 'Siegfried,' part of Robert Lepage's revamped 'Ring' Cycle for the Met (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

The Met presents the third opera in the Robert Lepage production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. The plot centers around the heroic young Siegfried (Jay Hunter Morris): With his mighty sword he slays the dragon Fafner, claims the coveted golden ring, defeats the great god Wotan (Bryn Terfel) in battle, and, risking all, walks through fire to awaken the beautiful sleeping warrior-goddess, Brünnhilde (Deborah Voigt), with a kiss.

This bold fairy tale contains some of the Ring's most exhilarating music, including Siegfried's joyous "Forging Song," the evocative "Forest Murmurs" and the ecstatic love duet that brings the opera to a euphoric finale.

Cast:

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Erda: Patricia Bardon
Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris
Mime: Gerhard Siegel
Wanderer: Bryn Terfel
Alberich: Eric Owens

Comments [28]

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

IT WOULD BE CRAZY-FUNNY IF OPERA WOULD ENTERTAIN THE FICTION THAT SUPER MODERNISTIC, LASER, BIG SET PRODUCTIONS WOULD COMPENSATE FOR LACKLUSTER SINGING VOICES. OPERA IS A COMPREHENSIVE AGGREGATE OF BEAUTIFUL SINGING, ACTING, AND SUPPORTED BY SETS AND COSTUMES AND ORCHESTRAL UNDERPINNING. MINUS GLORIOUS SINGING, IT WOULD JUST BE ENTERTAINMENT, WHICH MIGHT SUFFICE FOR SOME. . I am a Wagnerian heldentenor , opera composer, and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. My three websites are www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and
www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com, where one may download, free, at RECORDED SELECTIONS, 37 complete selections," live, " from my four solo concerts in the Main Hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, of Carnegie Hall.

Jan. 21 2013 11:54 AM

You are 100% CORRECT. That horn call, especially when it begins to accelerate & goes up the scale is extraordinarily difficult. The entire orchestra played superbly. We are spoiled by their daily excellence. BRAVISSIMI TO THE ORCHESTRA!!!!!!

Apr. 23 2012 03:42 PM
James Stalzer

It was a shame that no mention was made of the METs Principal Horn who played the "long call" on Saturdays broadcast. Having studied horn with the late Richard C. Moore at the MET and now just a faithful subscriber, I've always felt that the musicians in the pit are short changed and need to be recognized for their outstanding contribution to the house.

Apr. 23 2012 12:11 PM

I agree with your sentiments but it's very difficult to get back what you have lost. Dalayman is Brünhilde next week. If you listen to Voigt's performance in Elektra in 1994, she was in her Fach. Sadly,she is not a Brünhilde. The voice constricts on top & she does omit vowels. Maybe a good rest will do her some good.I think she's pushing too much.It's sad, she had a wonderful voice.

Apr. 21 2012 10:44 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Deborah Voigt improved vocally on her top notes from her ;last Brunnhilde broadcast, but it is still not an echt heldensopran.. There's always hope, speranza, hoffnung ! We wish her well.

Apr. 21 2012 04:32 PM

Voigt didn't sing "lachende Tod" but just vowels to get to the High C? No, this is not for her.

Apr. 21 2012 04:17 PM

CBC Morris has been singing since 11am & he sounds fresh as a daisy. Voigt sounds tired & is leaving out consonants. I don't think this role is for her. Next week we'll have another Brunhilde.

Apr. 21 2012 04:15 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

In 1943 when I reached my 15th birthday, I saw my first Met Opera performance with Lauritz Melchior.
Kleinchen Melchior and Lauritz whom I got to know backstage at the old Met wrote me and we kept ijn touch by mail. I got to attend almost all his performances locally including his Carnegie Hall brief appearances and his Bell Telephone broadcasts and, of course his singular performances at the Met. Outside of Caruso, no male opera singer has ever so dominated his own fach. Svanholm was good, but no one could match the TIMBRE, THE POWER, THE STAMINA of MELCHIOR. In today's performance Patricia Bardon as Erda sang with distinction, a full-throated tonal production. She should go far in advancing her career. Bryn Terfel improved his performance in this third act, but he probably would benefit from alternating with less heavy Wagner roles, as Wolfram and Amfortas and Kurvenal and the Italian roles in which his voice was velvety and had more brilliance. Deborah Voigt started her singing with a pronounced wobble, but that element of her singing disappeared as she continued to sing. Jay Hunter Morris's voice is lightweight for the role of Siegfried, though he is an intelligent singer. Eric Owens stole the show vocally. The orchestra is second to none operatically speaking.

Apr. 21 2012 04:07 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Thought the Siegfried's voice a little light. Maybe I am used to a darker voice for this part. But then, I am a little high from my Wagner hit that I could be wrong. What gorgeous music.
Yes, CBC, Act III is gorgeous.

Apr. 21 2012 04:02 PM

The music is glorious. Mr. Terfel seems to be having difficulty with the low notes. His scale seems to be uneven and a little forced on top. Oh, for the days of the legato singing of Friedrich Schorr, Julius Hühn, Hans Hotter & James Morris. I hope Mr. Terfel is not developing a "Bayreuth bark".

Apr. 21 2012 03:06 PM

Most of the cuts you speak about were instituted by Artur Bodanzky. We have James Levine to thank who restored the cuts to Tristan, Parsifal, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung (did you know they began that opera with Dawn & no Norns), Meistersinger and Walkure.

Apr. 21 2012 02:40 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

It has just been announced that Erin Morley sang the Wood Bird and Jon Frederick
Konig sang the Fafner. In my comments earlier I had a typo. It should have been Walther von Stolzing.
Instead of the v I had a b. In the "old' days there were cuts in most Wagner and Russian operas, despite the fact that the singers then were extraordinary and DID have STAMINA. Today's singers are expected to sing the complete BORIS, TRISTAN, SIEGFRIED AND GURNEMANZ et als.

Apr. 21 2012 02:32 PM

We are coming up to Act 3 which has some of the most glorious & transporting music ever written.

Apr. 21 2012 02:25 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The Forest Bird and Fafner role perfprmers were not listed here.
They sang commndably.

Apr. 21 2012 02:04 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The second act is about to begin. In the interviews, it was clear that the both tenors are personable and sing roles outside of the Wagner fach.. Gerhard Siegel, on the broadcast sounds like the more Wagnerian voice. His over 100 Mimes, pus the title roles of Tristan and Parsifal, Walther bon Stolzing, and Siegmund certify his credentials performance-wise. Fabio Luisi is masterful in whatever he conducts and today's SIEGFRIED is no excption. Eric Owens who is at this very moment singing the role of Alberich has probably the most beautifully rich voice ever to undertake the role. Bryn Terfel's most extended time-wise scene, in the first act, was sung appropriately. HAT I MISS in all the singers except for Eric Owens is the GORGEOUS TIMBRE and POWER that I have heard in previous eras of opera at the Met and in Europe and from my vice teachers the Met Opera legends Friedrich Schorr, Alexander Kipnis, Margarete Matzenauer and Karin Branzell. Singing the French and Italian rep DOES facilitate a better vocal line in the Wagner fach. Melchior had wished to continue in rep outside of the Wagner oeuvre, but the other tenors were jealous of his overwhelmingly thrilling performances as Otello, Canio and the other roles that he sang before his Met Opera career. Those other tenors prevailed on the Met;'s General Manager Gatti-Cassazza not to give MELCHIOR any but Wagner roles, but at his Farewell Gala , he scheduled Melchior to do the Otello role. It was a stupendous success ! As I have mentioned,I have had the good fortune of studying with four of the superstars of the Wagner Golden Era at the Met, baritone Friedrich Schorr, bass Alexander Kipnis, mezzo Margarete Matzenauer and mezzo Karin Branzell in college at Juilliard or Manhattan School of Music and privately. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. At my webites: WagnerOpera.com, ShakespeareOpera.com and RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com, one may download, free, at the Recorded Selections venue, 37 complete selections recorded LIVE during those concerts, including my singing of Wagner on the most recent ALL-WAGNER two concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Apr. 21 2012 01:37 PM
June Conticchio from bayville, NY

I love Wagner & it was such a treat to be able to hear "The Ring" on WQXR radio. I wish I had a libretto or some kind of story line. I have 5 video tapes of The Ring but have yet to play them. I want to watch them consevutively - all 5, which is about 15hrs long. I want my husband to watch it as well & that's hard to do. I originally watched The Ring on PBS' production about 15 yrs. ago! I knew nothing about The Ring & when I finally saw the final episode on PBS, I knew I was hooked, forever, as I also love all of Wagner's other operas. Thank you for these broadcasts.

Apr. 21 2012 12:33 PM
Jeff Haller from MIami, Florida

I heard Jay Hunter Morris is Master Class, as Alfredo and as Canio. When I heard he was doing Siegfried, I thought it was a joke. The joke is on me because he is a wonderful Siegfried.

Apr. 21 2012 12:26 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

There was a movement years ago to impose some more censure(?) on works of art. It was decided that if these laws passed, some of the Bible would be banned, the Ring would be banned etc. The Ring is great. It is about all the human faults. Greed, Incest, Murder, Fratricide, Interspecies sex, etc. I cannot imagine life without music from the Ring. I am right now listening to the opening music with all its barbarous vitality. What a fix.

Apr. 21 2012 11:10 AM

I've now heard Pape in Rheingold & Walkure. HE is the great hope of Wagnerites for a Heldenbariton whose voice can encompass these "impossible" roles. Also, Sir Willard White does a very good job.

Apr. 21 2012 11:07 AM
gary from bklyn., ny

THE RING is the highlight of what was a great broadcast season. Box office prices have left me, the working poor out in Nibelheim. Thank the Gods for the fm broadcasts. I worry about Mr. Terfelc losing the lyric nature of his voice doing this epic role (Wotan/Wanderer. I wish this new generation of Heldensaenger well, and I hop they will still sound as fresh 10 years from now. GJF, Bklyn., NY

Apr. 21 2012 09:57 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

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 this 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 08:56 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

From recent comments from listeners, it seems that Peter Gelb is responsible for some really bad productions. Do not know if he was responsible for Traviata. Maybe he should be given a pink slip? I liked the Otto Schenk production. Hope the singers are up to today's task. Love the music when Brunhilde awakes and greets the sun.

Apr. 21 2012 08:22 AM

Wanderer has the highest tessitura of all 3 Wotan's but also goes very low. I think it's beyond Terfel's capabilities. Ms. Voigt's voice doesn't blossom above the staff which makes her just acceptable. The Met could have done better with the cast & the production.

Apr. 20 2012 10:21 PM

In an intrview on Sirius, Gelb coying implied that the Schenk production wasn't "permanently" retired. I don't know if he was kidding or in ernest. As for the machine - BAH. It's a BAD GIMMICK that detracts from the opera.

Apr. 20 2012 10:04 PM
Frank from UWS

It's a disgrace that the old Otto Schenk production was replaced with this monstrosity. The company spend $16M on a creaky machine that has injured singers and made a mockery of Wagner's vision. Good work, Peter Gelb. I just hope I can listen to this without focusing on the machine's noises.

Apr. 20 2012 09:47 PM

CBC Did u ever see Fritz Lang's "Ring"? 2 L-O-N-G silent movies, story is from the sagas but the visuals are great for the time. I love the music in Sieg. Especially, Act 3 which has some of the most uplifting themes especially right after Wanderer asks Erda "Weiss du wass Wotan will'?" Complete pause into redemtion theme, Wotan's love for his grand-son & daughter & too many more to mention. On to the confrontation with Sieg. Then up the mountain's etherial music. Brunhilde's awakening to the end. It's just transporting & majestic beyond words. James Morris said there were at least 9 themes in the Act 3 prelude alone. If u listen carefully, the music does not support the baritone - it goes it's own way placing great strain on the Wanderer. When it works, it's monumental. Even when they aren't coordinated, it's still monumemtal. All my best CBC.

Apr. 20 2012 06:35 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

CBC: What a feast of music this opera is. Full of vitality. Hope the singers do it justice. I named my cat Siegfried. He too was a dumb blonde. Would love to see a film of this opera with really cool special effects. Hope you are well. Best wishes.

Apr. 20 2012 03:20 PM

CBC Hope Terfel can find his low notes & not fudge the high ones. As for Debbie, so sad, she had a great voice until Covent Garden. Brünhilde is NOT for her.

Apr. 20 2012 12:43 AM

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