Wagner's Siegfried from the Royal Opera House

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stefan Vinke as Siegfried in Wagner's 'Siegfried' Stefan Vinke as Siegfried in Wagner's 'Siegfried' (Royal Opera House/Clive Barda)

Keith Warner's production of the third opera in Wagner's epic Ring cycle combines elemental forces with contemporary concern.

The plot centers around the heroic young Siegfried (Stefan Vinke): 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 (Susan Bullock), 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.


Stefan Vinke, tenor, Siegfried

Gerhard Siegel, tenor, Mime

Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone, The Wanderer (Wotan)

Wolfgang Koch, baritone, Alberich

Eric Halfvarson, bass, Fafner

Sophie Bevan, soprano, The Woodbird

Maria Radner, contralto, Erda

Susan Bullock, soprano, Brünnhilde

Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus

Antonio Pappano, conductor



Comments [11]

Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

I second 'Toni from NYC". The miking in many spots was woefully inadequate, especially in delicate soft sections - but the worst was the English Horn and French Horn solos in Act II,almost completely inaudible. Hang your collective heads in shame, you Covent Garden engineers responsible for this.

Oct. 19 2013 05:23 PM

Gathering my wits and breath always after this marvelous opera!!

Oct. 19 2013 05:12 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, nJ

SOPHIE BEVAN as the Wood Bird stole the show in the Second Act with her beautiful timbre and good vocalism. The Siegfried STEFAN VINKE's voice which was appropriate in power in Act One faltered, became underpowered in Act Two. In Act Three, his Act One voice reappeared. The Brunnhilde SUSAN BULLOCK has a distressing wobble problem, often the resultant of too early undertaking heavy roles. Maestro ANTONIO PAPPANO, as with his other performances, evinced a keen understanding and technical command of his orchestra and the principals. Her final high C was pinched and cut short. The opera broadcast has just concluded at 5:07 PM.

Oct. 19 2013 05:11 PM
Toni from NYC

I love the Ring Cycle and listen whenever it is broadcast. But of all the operas I've ever heard on WQXR this has by far had the worst sound ever! It is not the station's fault I am sure, it must be the way it was recorded for broadcast by the opera company.I am shocked that the Royal Opera House has clearly not done their sound engineering at all well on this performance. At times you can barely hear the singer(s). So unless the staging has Siegfried singing from offstage much of the time, which seems absurd, they really should have done a better job of capturing the sound. After all, they must have to mic this to be able to broadcast and record it.So they should have had the amplification even if the performers were way at the back of the stage or something.I never remember experiencing this with any other operas either broadcast live of after the fact.

Oct. 19 2013 04:29 PM
concetta nardone

Dear CBC: I am fine, good days and bad days. Hope you are well and enjoying this great music. As I remarked earlier, this opera is a fix for me. Terfel does do too much piano singing and from some of the fotos he looks really grotesque. Wotan is supposed to be a god. A god should always be well dressed and groomed. Tanti auguri.

Oct. 19 2013 03:15 PM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

Whether characterized as myth, legend, epic, or fairy-tale (while I agree that "Siegfried" is not of this genre, before dismissing that term, one should read Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories"), this opera (or music drama) would be better served by a setting in which its words would ring more truly. Fortunately, I am only hearing it on the radio, and so am not being distracted by such silliness as a fuselage of a wrecked airplane, which I am sure is not mentioned in the text. I am also sure that there is no meaningful way in which such a setting can mesh with the words that Wagner wrote and that convey a tale of a world in which there were no airplanes. If you don't want to stage that work, leave it alone.

Oct. 19 2013 02:49 PM
concetta nardone

Now that I've gotten my "fix", I think I'll invade Italy.

Oct. 19 2013 02:42 PM

CBC How are you? Hope u r well. I wish Terfel would stop all this piano singing for effect. It's not Wagner. He's also very choppy. Vinke has come a lomg way since I first heard him in '08.

Oct. 19 2013 02:39 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

SIEGFRIED, unlike most operas demands puissance, stamina, carrying power, effective dynamic strength throughout the vocal range and a full command of nuance with a "plummy" full sound. STEFAN VINKE as Siegfried, GERHARD SIEGEL as Mime and BRYN TERFEL as The Wanderer are also good interpreters with those earlier mentioned attributes I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute and may be heard at the RECORDED SELECTIONS venue on my website www.WagnerOpera.com in 37 out of the 100 selections that I have sang in four three-hour-long solo concerts in the main hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, of CARNEGIE HALL. On Sunday October 27th at 5 PM, at the NEWLIFE EXPO at the New Yorker Hotel I will sing my fourth concert in New York of the series "The 300 Greatest Love Songs of Broadway Musicals, Movies, and The Grammys." The 300 Love Songs on ten DVDs recorded live on the VALHALLA RECORDS label will be obtainable commercially on February 14th, 2014, St. Valentine's Day.

Oct. 19 2013 02:28 PM
John pepper

Re brief overview given before cast listing: I am grateful for commentary however must cavil at charicature of the opera as "fairy tale".
"Myth", "legend", even "psychological/spiritual thriller" but not "fairy tale" pure and simple. The last should be qualified so that it is understood to signify the depths and resonances that fary tales can convey given mature reflection.

Oct. 19 2013 12:32 PM
concetta nardone

This opera is a feast. It is long but does not seem overly long. Watched a special one week ago about the Viking Sword and Siegfried's singing Nothung danced in my head. Hope the singers and orchestra do justice to this masterpiece.

Oct. 19 2013 12:31 PM

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