Wagner's Siegfried

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

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

The Met brings back 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 (Mark Delavan) 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: Meredith Arwady
Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris
Mime: Gerhard Siegel
Wotan: Mark Delavan
Alberich: Eric Owens

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Comments [12]

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

The troubles that tear asunder the prospect of REAL echt WAGNERIAN PERFORMANCES are the total lack of singers with squillo, ping, ringing "juicy', not dry secco tone delivery,singers WITHOUT thrilling fortissimo acuti, high , notes and WITHOUT melting pianissimi but instead substitute WAGNERIAN BARKING rather than legato full-throated singing with strained and forced and flat singing, undersized and underpowered singing, at the same time WITHOUT impressive carrying power and the final curse the inevitable throaty and/or nasal ugly voice production.

Apr. 30 2013 01:05 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Today's news deals with deficits and declining support for the arts. Tandem to this predicament for the talented is the perception that the current situation will continue for a long time to come. Speaking specifically how this precludes the motivation for young operatic singers who must early on choose their life's work, many have turned to Broadway or the business world. Nowadays Broadway musicals are out for show-stopping sensationalism with laser distractions, monster sets, acrobatic feats and space age technical projections and featuring dancing over singing. So, for the real thing opera singer, Broadway musicals, outside of Phantom of the Opera and an occasional Les Miserables there is little prospect of a sustainable career. The Wagner oeuvre has suffered the most. Husky physiques, witness the iconic John McCormack, do not offer similar size singing voices in power or stamina. Heroic voices like Melchior, Tamagno, Ruffo and the mature Caruso are nowhere on today's world class stages. Instead we suffer to hear miniscule, non-charismatic, non-distinctively memorable singing voices essaying roles far beyond their undersized,underpowered, thin not orotund, singing potentialities lacking sufficient carrying, projection power to be consistently heard over Wagner's or Richard Strauss' orchestrations.

Apr. 29 2013 05:45 PM
Brunhilde from NYC

Yikes....don't know how Voigt will make it through "Gotterdamerung". Albeit, the Siegfried Brunhilde is the highest, and some will attest the hardest (actually they all are pretty dammmm hard), but it is also one of the most expressive. Voigt sang it one-dimensionally.... with no expression....just "make the notes"! The thrilling music suffered. The combination of her Brunhilde and the god-awful set makes one long for better times and productions...like the last one, and to revert, once again, to the CD's.

Apr. 23 2013 12:33 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Cavanaugh, Friedrich Schorr had a misconception regarding the vocal technique for singing in his upper range.
Professionally, he started singing the role of Wotan when most singers are still tyro vocal students. Still, beyond that most major defect in his vocal career, the heroic, noble timbre of the rest of his voice and his interpretive depth are much to be admired. Thanks for your comments. If you curious about my own background and heldentenor voice you may download my website www.WagnerOpera.com

Apr. 21 2013 08:14 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Siegfried's voice too light for this role. Could not tell the difference in vocal coloring between the two tenors in the first act. Delavan's voice is really beautiful. Looking forward to hearing him as Amonasro.

Apr. 21 2013 07:50 AM

Dear Mr. Lane, Acording to internet protocol, when you write in CAPS, you are shouting. I don't think you are a shouter.
I agree that Schorr was a great Heldenbariton, velvet voice, great legato etc. However, you must admit he milked the high E's & F's for the baritone. I'm sure you know why he didn't sing Sachs in the '36 & '37 Meistersinger under Toscanini. I have his '21 finale to Rheingold & he didn't have the high notes, he went flat. But I do concede he was a great artist& very pleasant to listen to.

Apr. 21 2013 12:53 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

CAVANAUGH AND LES HAD MENTIONED FERDINAND FRANTZ AS A GREAT WOTAN AND HANS SACHS. I HAVE SEEN HIM AND HIS WIFE HELENA BRAUN, WHO REPLACED AT THE LAST MOMENT TRAUBEL, AS A BRUNNHILDE WHO HAD THE HIGH CS FOR THE HO YO TO HOs, AT A WALKURE WITH HER HUSBAND AS THE WOTAN. PAUL SCHOEFFLER, JOEL BERGLUND AND JEROME HINES WE5E MEMORABLE IN THE HELDENBARITON ROLES. HINES, A BASS, NOT BARITONE, AMAZINGLY HAD THE ACUTI, TOP NOTES. MY VOICE TEACHER FRIEDRICH SCHORR IS RECOGNIZED AS THE PREEMINENT UNICO, SUPREME AS ONE OF A KIND, WAGNERIAN HELDENBARITON. Jay Hunter Morris, like Charles Kullman, has a pleasant Pinkerton voice, but not an heroic voice nor a timbre suggestive of even the jugendheldentenor roles, except for Walter von Stolzing and Lohengrin. ERIC OWENS STOOD OUT AS AN "ECHT," the real thing, voice, with a stunning dramatic conveyance of the text. Most successful in characterization, musicianship and totally convincing portrayal was the Mime, GERHARD SIEGEL. MARK DELAVAN, MEREDITH ARWADY and HANS-PETER KONIG WERE EXEMPLARY, though not of legendary landmark quality, yet. Let' s hope that true Wagnerian singing talent arrives before the genre ceases to elicIt audience appeal and/or financial backing.

Apr. 20 2013 05:27 PM

WHAT A SHAME!!! She kept omitting consonants to try to hit B's & C's which she missed terribly. How long are we going to be stuck with this one?

Apr. 20 2013 04:13 PM

Sorry, not "Brunhilde bin ich nicht mehr" rather "Brunhilde war ich niemahls".

Apr. 20 2013 04:00 PM

Either no one is listening or all are enthralled by Wagner's music & the great singing. Where is everybody? I'm glad someone mentioned Ferdinand Franz last week, he was a great Wotan. Did you know he recorded Sachs three times between '51 & '56? A great Wagnerian.

Apr. 20 2013 03:00 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Caro Beduzzo Cavanaugh: This opera is a feast. Cannot listen to all of it but just enough to catch Delavan as Wotan. This whole opera is magnificent and on my list with Otello, Tosca, Norma and Macbeth. Hope you are well. Tante belle cose.

Apr. 20 2013 09:22 AM

CBC Beduzza mia. Now comes some of the most glorious music ever written, especially after "weisst du was Wotan will?" The score has this symbol // meaning complete silence. He only used it one other time in the entire Ring. Wotan then has magnificent vocal lines with tremendous orchestral support. It's beyond words. Enjoy. I just wish we had a Brunhilde up to the rest of the cast. Delavan is excellent.
"ewig war ich. ewig bin ich".

Apr. 19 2013 11:31 PM

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