Wagner's Die Walküre from the Royal Opera House

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

In the second of the Ring dramas, we move from the realm of the gods to the human sphere, where love enters the story in the blossoming incestuous relationship between the Wälsungen twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde.

Keith Warner's Royal Opera House production of Wagner's Ring Cycle continues with Die Walküre, the cycle’s second installment featuring Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Lord of the Gods. Susan Bullock is Brünnhilde, while Simon O'Neill and Eva-Maria Westbroek are Siegmund and Sieglinde. Sarah Connolly is Fricka. Anthony Pappano conducts.

Cast:

Simon O'Neill, tenor, Siegmund
Eva-Maria Westbroek, soprano, Sieglinde
John Tomlinson, bass, Hunding
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone, Wotan
Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano, Fricka
Susan Bullock, soprano, Brünnhilde
Alwyn Mellor, soprano, Gerhilde
Katherine Broderick, soprano, Ortlinde
Karen Cargill, mezzo-soprano, Waltraute
Anna Burford, contralto, Schwertleite
Elisabeth Meister, soprano, Helmwige
Sarah Castle, mezzo-soprano, Siegrune
Clare Shearer, mezzo-soprano, Grimgerde
Madeleine Shaw, mezzo-soprano, Rossweisse

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Comments [5]

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

In retrospect, having heard the entire COVENT GARDEN DIE WALKURE BROADCAST LIVE IN REAL TIME, it is refreshing to noteall the othersingers that BRYN TERFEL has improved exponentially vocally band interpretively in his Wotans.
Outside of TERFEL and TOMLINSON and WESTBROEK, all the other leading role singers were underpowered and undistinguished in tone quality [timbre] and nuancing, relying on same expression and volume, regardless of the text and of the music. More than commendable was the orchestra and its superb maestro ANTHONY PAPPANO.

Oct. 05 2013 05:59 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

It's OK, I know this opera is not an easy one vocally. Ignored the middle of this opera whilst I did my thing. Waiting for magic fire music. Terfel looks really sloppy. He is supposed to be a god. Quite grotesque. James Morris made a rather handsome Wotan, patch and all. It's OK for a god to be good-looking.

Oct. 05 2013 04:18 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

BRYN TERFEL has grown in the role of the WALKURE WOTAN. His expressivity in delivering the text and his vocal control and "acuti' [high notes] are continents away better than in our last hearing his live performances. One, committed to improving, learns tremendously from major challenges one has experienced. Susan Bullock, the Brunnhilde, has a sturdy voice but did not excite even with the Ho Yo To Ho. Perhaps, as with Bryn Terfel, she'll make big strides given sufficient challenges.

Oct. 05 2013 03:16 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Simon O'Neill's vocal timbre [color] is definitely NOT appropriate for a Siegmund, but just right for a Mime. Besides the voice is puny and nasalized, constricted with what used to be characterized as "necktie singing" and
throaty. He struggles against reality to convey a heroic tone but the resultant is a strained, discomfited string-wide outpouring. Eva -Marie Westbroek, on the other hand, is a convincing Sieglinde in both vocal timbre and the requisite dramatic urgency with which Wagner scored text and music-wise precisely for that persona's DNA. John Tomlinson gives scope to Hunding's suspicious, hate-drenched personality, perhaps delineating it more gruffly than sustainable to a nobility of tone. THe orchestra, under the direction of maestro Anthony Pappano supports magnificently the on-going drama. The first act of the opera has just concluded.

Oct. 05 2013 02:12 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Great start, flying finish. Good grief, what a middle. Dialogue. dialogue, dialogue. This opera is about unhappy wife, abusive husband, twins reunited, incest, adultery, rebellious(?) daughter, nagging wife, henpecked husband, murder, etc. Wotan punishes his daughter. She will sit in front of a fire and spin. He has turned her into a housewife. Her sisters run off screaming Woe, Woe. He then encircles her with fire to await her nephew. Some more incest in the future. This opera would not pass some anti-obsenity laws that were proposed years ago. Irony of irony, neither would the Old Testament. Rape and incest there as well. A great read.

Oct. 05 2013 11:02 AM

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