James Levine Conducts Richard Wagner's 'Tannhäuser'

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Johan Botha in the title role and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser. (Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

Tune in at 1 pm Saturday to WQXR for the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of Richard Wagner's 'Tannhäuser'. James Levine is conducting.

Wagnerian tenor, Johan Botha stars in the title role as Tannhäuser. Eva-Maria Westbroek, after her part as Sieglinde in the Ring a couple years ago, returns to Wagner as Elisabeth; Peter Mattei sings the part of Wolfram; Michelle DeYoung is Venus, the goddess of love; and  Landgraf Hermann plays Günther Groissböck.

Cast:

Conductor: James Levine

Eva-Maria Westbroek: Elisabeth
Venus: Michelle DeYoung
Tannhäuser: Johan Botha
Wolfram: Peter Mattei
Landgraf Hermann: Günther Groissböck

Comments [10]

Concetta Nardone from Nasssau

Very nice. I get a fix from the finale of this opera. there is fine film entitled Meeting Venus starring Glen Close about a production of Tannhauser but it is not available on Netflix.

Jan. 23 2016 05:02 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Thanks Marschallin, I like short and sweet with the snarky.
Enjoying today's broadcast.

Jan. 23 2016 04:15 PM
The Marschallin from Manhattan

But Concetta, you never left a comment a whole page long, with sentences in all caps, self-serving blow-his-own horn nonsense! Keep yours up, I like snarky as much as the next girrrll! He exists, malheureusement, in his own macho world!

Jan. 23 2016 03:33 PM
perera.ajith from Gainesville

I have my doubts about the commenter Mr. Lane's existence. Once, I became curious and did a Google search. Things do not seems to add up (at least to me). I certainly enjoy (and learn from )the others comments. Thanks!

Jan. 23 2016 03:21 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

I enjoyed the comments from people who got annoyed at him.
Occasionally found these amusing.
Some people have gotten annoyed at my snarky comments. Especially when I refer to some operas as dogs. I do enjoy a kerfuffle now and then.

Jan. 23 2016 02:23 PM
the Marschallin from Manhattan

Are you missing Kenneth Bennett Lane? I am not!

Jan. 23 2016 01:54 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

What has happened to Cavanaugh? I so enjoyed his back and forth. Hope he is well. Also hope that Mr. Eisenberg is well as I enjoy his poems. What has happened to Kenneth Bennett Lane?

Jan. 23 2016 01:47 PM

@Les @Concetta Really appreciate the caliber of your comments. It makes listening to the performance so much more enjoyable. Thank you so much. Looking forward to the re-broadcast with great anticipation in the midst of this blizzard today.

Jan. 23 2016 12:42 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

@Les: I like the Bellini reference. Siegfried's Rhine Journey is very much like Bellini whom Wagner admired.
Looking forward to today's performance. However, Bugs Bunny used some of the music from this. It's is ok to have a little fun.
Best wishes

Jan. 23 2016 09:35 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

This re-broadcast is of a performance on October 31, 2015. Since Wagner usually used short titles, it occurs to me that he wanted as much emphasis on the "debate" about courtly love between that Tannha"user" so offends because the full title in English is "Tannha"user and the Tournament of Song at Wartburg". The earlier version, Dresden Version, seems me to employ more set pieces, while this later "Paris Version" with the Venusberg ballet, is more in Wagner's later more chromatic style. The "Entry of the Guests" seems to me to owe a lot to Meyerbeer, even though Wagner detested him, and the "Evening Star" aria seems to come right from Bellini's "Casta Diva" minus the arpeggios in the strings in the former. The two make a wonderful medley! I don't think this cast can be bettered today. Johan Botha I think is more of a dramatic tenor than a heldentenor, yet I hear the timbre of the late Wolfgang Windgassen a lot in Botha. James Levine has long been one of the best Wagner conductors around, if not the best; and his orchestra and chorus may be equalled in Vienna and Berlin, but not bettered.

Jan. 23 2016 06:48 AM

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