Welcome, cher public, to the first night of our Ring-watching experience on PBS at 9 pm. La Cieca (not pictured) wishes you bon voyage as we begin with Das Rheingold.
Will there be a chat, Cieca?
My understanding is that the chat room is always open.
Why! It is just like a regular Team Room!
More like a Tea Room, I’d say. Darjeeling spiked with battery acid.
that’s what I meant, but then my clumsy fingers got away from me…
Oh, that’s too bad as my next question would have been ‘what is a team room?’
Some of my favorite chats have been some of the spontaneous chats that appear in that room.
what’s that screaming sow doing in here, we discuss opera not Broadway trash.
Have another look at the photo la Cieca chose to illustrate the thread and maybe you’ll be less confused.
Bassey’s not a Broadway artist, by the way, ‘trash’ or otherwise.
To be literal-minded, Armer :)
From the Internet Broadway Database (http://www.ibdb.com, my *constant* study when kept from the Wiener Staatsoper and Met Archives):
[Special, Concert, Original]
Starring: Shirley Bassey [Performer]
Jul 9, 1986 -- Closing date unknown
Dec 1979 -- Closing date unknown
Oh well, if she appeared in two concerts then I withdraw my previous statement ;-)
(Many fewer B’way appearances than other ‘trash’-peddlers like Reri Grist, Eleanor Steber, Helen Traubel, Shirley Verrett, Rosalind Elias, of course…)
Unlike the other ladies you mention, Armer (and many other opera singers, including--beyond the obvious Pinza--Irra Petina, James McCracken, Patrice Munsel, Jan Peerce, Giorgio Tozzi, Robert Weede, Richard Croft, Robert Rounseville, Mimi Benzell, Julia Migenes, Cesare Siepi, Patricia Neway, Cornell MacNeil, John Reardon, Lawrence Tibbett--the Edgar of a 1923 B’way KING LEAR! — and Edward Johnson, whom I just learned was gay) the great Eleanor never appeared in a real Broadway production, though she did appear as Donna Lucia in a 1966 WHERE’S CHARLEY? with City Center’s “light opera” wing.
Better and better, Armer!
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Performer: Lucille Udovick [Singer]
Understudy: Lucille Udovick [Lady Phyllis Beekman]
Dec 8, 1949 -- Sep 15, 1951
Along Fifth Avenue
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Performer: Lucille Udovick [Singer, Singer]
Jan 13, 1949 -- Jun 18, 1949
Heaven on Earth
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Performer: Lucille Udovick [Singer]
Sep 16, 1948 -- Sep 25, 1948
Oct 10, 1947 -- Jul 10, 1948
Rheingold begins at 8:00 here in Ocean County NJ, Comcast channel 813.
The NY Post TV listings has Rheingold starting at 8:00 pm on WNET (channel 13 in NY.)
you are taking a lot of space on our computers for your inept garbage woman !
No matter how many youtube clips people post here or on other websites, it does not take up space on your computer unless you go to the trouble of saving them somehow.
Tant pis pour vous—pauvre pap—je m’en fiche—
Hey that’s Dame Of The British EmpireShirley, to you.
You go, girls!
(Dame Shirley and cher Camille, that is)
Illegitimi non carborundum.
Tea room is fine, I was afraid it would be a bathhouse. I am Recording them in my AT&T provided DV-R all nights and I hope I will be able to transfer them to DVD soon.
L.A. I didn’t know there was a way to transfer a DVD recording from the TV to a DVD. Is this a common procedue amongst cable TV users? I am technologically impaired.
Technically there isn’t. In will need to play the recs against and capture them from the tv to the DVD. It just that my DVD recorder is not hooked up, understandably so.
It’s possible to make DVDs from TV telecasts--I do it all the time (including Wagner’s Dream last night). I have a DVR/disc burner, connected to our cable box the same way our old VCR was. However, it all depends on your setup; the DVRs which the cable companies provide (at extra cost) don’t allow this. I also have friends who record programs via their computer setup. If you’re interested, you should seek the help of a nearby, tech-savvy friend.
The DirectTV HDTV dvrs have special encoding so you can’t dub them on to dvds or recordable blu-ray discs. Also, streaming Netflix from your Roku device -- that can’t be recorded either. The signal isn’t compatible -- it is some kind of special signal that the DVR can decode but nothing else can. I tried to record it on my dvd-recorder and just got the audio -- no video.
I have regular standard definition cable (for my old cathode ray tv) from DirectTV which can be recorded on a dvd recorder or VHS. But recording an HDTV signal is tricky -- my next big project.
The cable companies and dvd manufacturers have conspired to keep us from recording television and keeping it on dvd. Basically we are forced to record on their DVR’s which have high monthly fees. Lots of times the recordings can’t be transferred to outside media.
Panasonic had a fabulous DVD recorder with a hard drive that had all the capability of Tivo -- it downloaded program schedules and information from TV Guide Onscreen channel. I had the one with the VHS built in -- Panasonic DMR-EH75V. Tivo and the cable companies made Panasonic discontinue it -- too much competition. Then Panasonic stopped making their recorders with hard drives so you can’t edit out commercials or pledge drives out of your recordings and dump them on DVD. My Panasonic DMR-EH75V died this last winter and Panasonic no longer was manufacturing the replacement parts -- so I had to get a trade in for a newer model with no hard drive and minimal editing capability. I got a refurbished Magnavox recorder that does have a hard drive.
Now that everything has moved over to high definition, they have stopped making dvd recorders -- not compatible with high definition recording. The high definition signal will not record on a regular old dvd recorder -- the image looks f*cked up. There are some programs that will record high definition off of your computer -- if you get TV on your computer.
Anyway, I am recording the Ring on my Magnavox recorder with the old 4:3 standard definition quality.
Been there, done that, never want to waste time again on that ugly RING.
It’s worth hearing Richard Croft, who apparently was not heard in the house.
Not by some, buy I could hear Croft and I thought he was excellent, especially given what he was asked to do physically.
I might hear this without watching the image, mostly to enjoy Jimmy. I might watch the curtain calls just to see if they include the boos for Lepage; my tribute to Wagner, may he be enjoying Valhalla and not tuning in to this sorry spectacle.
Against my better judgement, I did watch Wagner’s Dream. What a load of dull crap it is.
Yes, dull crap, certainly.
I don’t cease to be amazed by those who after seeing this Ring production still have a positive opinion of it. Many must be new to Wagner, and in the process of discovering the composer’s artistic virtues, thus overlooking all the crap that this thing subjects the audience to.
Gelb and Lepage remind me of the Bolsheviks. These last guys said they wanted to bring paradise on earth and to that end killed millions for decades creating a real hell on earth. Gelb and Lepage claim to be realizing Wagner’s dream, but in fact are destroying the drama and music of his operas with the introduction of a noisy, monstrous, dangerous, distracting and pointless machine that obscures the works rather than help bring out their infinite fascination.
“Gelb and Lepage remind me of the Bolsheviks. These last guys said they wanted to bring paradise on earth and to that end killed millions for decades creating a real hell on earth. Gelb and Lepage claim to be realizing Wagner’s dream, but in fact are destroying the drama and music of his operas with the introduction of a noisy, monstrous, dangerous, distracting and pointless machine”
That is a parody, right?
As you like. “Ve’, la tragedia mutò in commedia”? Well, Shaw used to make a parallel between the last Ring opera and Ballo.
Here’s David Patrick Stearns’s take on the telecasts.
Interesting tid-bit from the article:
Reportedly, Levine is back from his latest surgery, tooling around the Met in a motorized scooter, but that’s only recently.
Can anyone confirm that Levine is back, motorized or not?
Maybe it’s just one of LePage’s doubles?
I’m sure that if our doyenne weren’t galavanting through Italy, she’d have her little spies on it!
I hope that’s tru and that he plows his scooter right into the yellow man, crushing him like a bug for Rosh Hashanna.
Original review of Rhinegold from parterre:
” the performances, which are sadly lost, dulled and yes, dwarfed by their surroundings. Even the singers’ movement seems an uncomfortable afterthought.
The singing is not particularly remarkable either”
I have seen and heard the Ring so many times now, I don’t particularly want to experience this mediocre version again (only heard the broadcasts, very meh).
Can’t watch, but I’d be very curious to know if they’ve edited Dwayne Croft’s costume malfunction (get your minds out of the gutter, the back of his armored breastplate was unbuckled when he first entered) out of the dvd.
Wait a minute—that is the second time I have heard Dwayne’s name mentioned and just now in the credits they announced Richard??!!!
Thanks for tip on wardrobe malfunctions. I will be on the lookout.
Richard sings Loge, Dwayne is Donner.
O thanks a lot! I like Dwayne a lot and he is doing well. Der Bruder I don’t know as well but he also did very well.
A bunch of miscast wannabes. When Bryn let out that vibratoless yelp minutes after entering onstage, I couldn’t turn the thing off quickly enough. Who’s coaching these people? Blythe sounds like a dramatic lyric mezzo.
and Deborah Voigt.
You turned it off minutes after Bryn entered and still feel you have the right to critique the production?
Deborah Voigt wasn’t in this one. FYI.
I know Debbie wasn’t in this one. Why should the Brunnhilde be the commentator introducing Rheingold? She takes nothing seriously these days.
Where did I “critique the production”? I sorta like it. It’s the singing that sucked big time. And you call that acting?
I’m sorry, I thought you said you didn’t watch past Bryn’s entrance so I was confused as to how you could comment on anything in it. Perhaps I misunderstood.
If you watched Wagner’s Dream, I think it’s clear every single person involved took their work very seriously. Those were some very passionate and serious people.
Did I say “every single person involved” didn’t take things seriously? No, I didn’t. It’s Debbie. I said “She takes nothing seriously these days.” Nothing -- her career, the composer, nothing.
Didn’t you see her trying to be funny with Terfel and he totally ignored her forced attempt at humor?
Well, Voigt was involved and she’s a person. I think my point should have been clear.
I saw her joking, which Bryn often also does (did you see him joking with Fleming during DW and her attempting to stay on course?). I suspect she’s encouraged to do so as the host. It’s part of her job, and I imagine it’s why she’s a popular host (judging from her expanding role there).
And if you didn’t think, after watching Wagner’s Ring, that she took everything seriously, I guess we watched something different.
‘Blythe sounds like a dramatic lyric mezzo’ -- what exactly is the problem here?
I enjoyed it despite its faults.
Voigt only thinks about herself, not Wagner, not Wagnerian style, not Wagnerian vocal history or tradition. Just herself, trying her damndest to make her career last as long as possible in spite of the fact that her voice is shot..
Well, luckily for her then, she’s succeeding.
Next time you see her for one of your many chats, during which time you undoubtedly learned all of these personal things about her, tell her I said ‘hi.’
So you think she’s a capable Brünnhilde?
Jesus, all this AGAIN and we haven’t even got to Brunnhilde’s entrance yet.
Yes, Mme E, bosah likes Voigt’s Brunnhilde. Others don’t. The subject has- well, let’s say it’s been rather extensively covered.
Thank you, AJ.
Tell me, what is it like living in Ms Voigt’s brain all the time?
In particular, in what parallel universe are you living where Voigt, regardless of her current vocal condition considered a generous and knowledgeable colleague, is so dismissive of Wagnerian style, vocal history or tradition (whatever that may be)?
If you are so good at reading other people’s minds, tell me, what do I think of your comment? I’ll give you a hint: not great.
Oh my god, this Australian whore is still haunting this site? Let me see, were you in the house for this Ring, carissima? Well, I was. I had to sit through 2 of the Walkueres with Debbie Void and her frog-croaking through the role. Atrocious doesn’t even begin to describe her “singing.” I was rewarded for my saintly patience when Skelton and Westbroek delivered tremendous performances (and Jonas in the first one).
Can you guess what I think of your post too?
“this Australian whore”
Please come home La C your blog needs some moderation in every sense of the word.
Insulting people is de bonne guerre, but using their nationality is racist.
I’m not really a whore, more of a hobbyist.
Not for the first time, you’ve misunderstood my post. I don’t think Voigt was a distinguished Brunnhilde. I do think anyone claiming to know her inner-most thoughts about her singing and Wagnerian knowledge is an idiot.
Since you are being reasonable, rather than your usual snarky self, I will apologize for calling you a puttana. I was reacting to your past abundant snark in attacking and mocking people for their preferences in singers.
As for you papopera, you can suck my lemons.
“I’m not really a whore, more of a hobbyist.”
Some time ago, I adopted the motto of poet Fiona Pitt-Kethley, “I’m not cheap, I’m free.”
Had to? Were you being held at knife point?
I see the snarky queens still haunt this site. I guess they never left.
Yes, CK, I had to. The first Walkuere was a ticket given to me by a friend who couldn’t go. Besides, I love the Ring and unfort. the Met’s casting department is as smart and competent as George W. Bush’s intelligence services. So if we want to see the Ring, we have to put up with some old grandma croaking her way through it. Whenever we can, we go to the performances without her, with the “cover” who is a much better singer and still has most of her registers intact (Dalayman). The second one I lucked out, as I noted, Skelton and Westbroek gave tremendous performances that evening. Also, some of Lepage’s projections were wonderful. And finally, the Windows logo briefly projected on the machine was the joke of the decade at the Met that evening, priceless.
I saw the HD live transmission of Siegfried and Gotterdammerung and rather enjoyed them, except for Voigt’s consistently flat singing in Siegfried. Maybe it’s the small screen at Colinwood, but this Rheingold made me furious.
I’ll start with Terfel. I was never too keen on Morris, but am now. Terfel shouted his way through and his attempt at acting is to smirk arrogantly throughout. He annoyed me thoroughly.
Richard Croft’s Loge was insipid and underpowered.
Eric Owens was fantastic and should have been singing Wotan instead of Alberich.
Blythe was better, not in the class of Owens, but at least she sounded like a Wagnerian singer.
I kept wishing Chereau would have shown up to direct the actors. It seemed to me that all the money went on that set while the blocking and direction of the singers was an afterthought or non existent. Or maybe I should have had Dr. Hoffman clone Waltraud Meier in both male and female form and force her mime all the parts to a recording in the pit. As it is, we must wait for Gotterdammerung to see a real singing actress.
And the silly props??? The Rheingold in Scene 1 and Scene 4 looked like something from a community theater or high school production. No. They would have done even better.
I must admit some of the effects were quite effective. I liked the initial appearance of the Rheinmaidens and the descent to Niebelheim. Even the gay mushroom cloud that symbolized the rainbow bridge to Valhalla was nice. But there’s so much more to Wagner than that. All that money, all those missed opportunities. LePage should have been restricted to the set design and they should have brought in a real director.
Early Levine I used to love. His Tannhauser on DVD is great. But then he fell into lethargy in his conducting of Wagner. He seemed much more chipper in this Rheingold, however. And the orchestra was fantastic, even in the aggressive, over the top miking of it. It always sounds better in the house.
Back to Voigt. So sad. Such a great voice she used to have. I still root for her, and will make allowances, this being her first Ring. I remember her being better in Gotterdammerung, not as flat as in Siegfried. I shall see tomorrow in Walkure, the only one of the new production I have yet to see.
But at this point, I must agree with some comment, made I think by Mostly Opera. The Met would have been far better off by borrowing the production from Valencia by Fura del Baus, than wasting money on this thing. Either do a good, thought-provoking Regie piece, or stick with the already-paid for Shenk version.
Now I have vented and must seek out a certain smirking bass-baritone or Canadian director to bite in the neck for my nightly allowance.
In spite of my better judgement, I watched last night. I still hate this production and agree with the post that says it seemed it had no director or direction :).
I must say the whole thing is not as offensive on TV as it was on the house for several reasons. The close ups make you forget you are in front of the annoying monster machine. The close ups, mike ups?, allow you to hear singers that some might not have heard well in the house, like Croft. Sound engineering and the mikes have been successful in covering up and even sometimes eliminating machine noise. This is all good for the TV viewer, but it makes me hate the production even more as I like going to the house for live music. Why should the opera house audience be treated as just a crowd watching the making of a film? That does not seem like Wagner’s dream, rather the composer’s never imagined nightmare.
For the older crowd who enjoy La Cieca’s Parterre Box as much as I do, try to imagine if the Brunhilde was going to be Birgit Nilsson, after a few beers, and entering the first stage rehearsal just seeing that machine for the first time and being told where to climb.
Oh dear. I’d managed to avoid this production until last night, I managed 3 bursts of about 5-10 mins each. TCM was showing ‘Monkey Business’ which was much more my speed
So, what was the cast of ‘Flash Gordon’ doing on the roof of IKEA? Horrible horrible costumes (from the party store?) -- stranded unfocused singers -- a very occasional engineering/visual coup. Unwatchable in my book.
Anyone unused to opera coming across this would turn straight off and never go near the art form again. And, you know what, you couldn’t blame them.
Flash Gordon? Guess it must be time to bring in the Bore Wurms.
Ach, schatzi, I feel ein Boerwurmslied coming on………
‘So, what was the cast of ‘Flash Gordon’ doing on the roof of IKEA?’
The most amusing and accurate summary I have yet read of this Ring production, thank you Belfagor.
Cocky, Belfagor is one of the most eloquent and perspicacious critics you could ever hope to find.
In spite of all the sarcasm and bitching about this production since its première, I really enjoyed what we saw on PBS last night. The machine is not all as bad as writers have led us to believe in here. The special effects, singing and acting were genial. Damn good opera entertainment. Looking forward to the sequels.
Papopera, are you off your meds? Your two previous posts in this thread were incredibly rude, and that’s the only “garbage” on this thread.
blue -- more evidence :
Not sure what you intend here, dear manou. Proof of what?
These are the comments I am referring to by papopera:
“what’s that screaming sow doing in here, we discuss opera not Broadway trash.”
…in response to Shirey Bassey’s classic rendition of GOLDFINGER, apt as the photo at the top of this thread is from that film.
“you are taking a lot of space on our computers for your inept garbage woman !”
…to Camille for her Rheingold beer commercial offerings from Youtube.
This vitriol seems quite misplaced.
manou is offering more evidence that papopera is off his meds by referring you to another disgraceful and uncalled for rude comment of his to Camille.
Please don’t let it bother you Camille.
this is the exchange I am referring to :
” Camille says:
Is it possible his paruke?
I cannot believe what they made those poor Rheinmaidens.
Oh good, now Hans-Peter has his shit fit! Good for him.
Sorry, too distracted by this thing.
What the Rheinmaidens DO!
It would be a perruque. It seems that he suffers from hypotrichosis. Hypotrichosis, like, is the opposite of you who, I’m told, has to shave your moustache once a week and even sport spider nests under your armpits.
I missed that one, yikes. How weird to post this kind of crap toward dear Camille.
I second Blue, Grim and Manou. Shame on that person from Montreal.
Having seen the first three operas live and Gotterdammerung only in HD I thought I’d check out this broadcast. How dull this was — fresh from a week at Bayreuth I missed the clarity of sound as well as the energy of the conducting I’ve heard more recently (though I’m VERY grateful to have this late record of Levine conducting). The personenregie was minimal at best, as has been noted before, but the constant close-ups deprived us of the compensating grand scale of the machine (complaint after a reception: “the food was terrible, and so little of it”). Worst of all, I missed the rainbow bridge ending — because I fell asleep. That’s pretty damning.
It’s only fair to note, though, that the HD broadcasts are the equivalent of a dress rehearsal, as the numerous tweaks took place after these early performances were filmed. This of course is particularly unfair to discerning viewers who are familiar with the Ring.
Very intersting to read all the comments — just goes to show each of us “hears” music in a different way. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show, both the singing & orchestra --it’s great to have surtitles for the dialog & watching from home, I heard many wonderful special effects in the music that I never noticed before while listening in a theater. Can’t see what all the fuss was about with the production — it was mostly dark the first hour & I was expecting more visual effects. The singers were confined to a small space & couldn’t move around much & I think they could have achieved the same effect without that giant machinery — just using visual special effects. And in the documentary, what’s with the statement that Gelb wouldn’t change the entrance where Debbie had previously slipped? Is Debbie’s divadom slipping a bit? Compare that to Angela G. & Anna N. & their ridiculous demands & cancellations. Gelb couldn’t accommodate a singer who was worried about slipping & hurting herself?
Does anyone want to hear something absolutely gorgeous?
Quite beautiful much better than Shirley Bassey.
Auger always looked so incredibly relaxed when she was singing. Exquisite artist.
This is, indeed, lovely.
Auger is a singer I’m getting ‘re-acquainted’ with through her live work currently sipping through unofficially. Her studio work was always correct but more often than not blank and reserved (apart from her sensational Nictoris for Pinnock) but live shw could be really wonderful, and apparently a great recitalist.
There’s also this :
“her sensational Nictoris for Pinnock”
I saw her in a concert of Belshazzar at the Proms in 1990, conducted by Pinnock:
It was indeed sensational, glorious, and I have often remembered the look she shot at Anthony Rolfe-Johnson playing her reprobate son the King after one of her arias. It conveyed indignation, motherly disapproval and disappointment, despair, and hope that he would come to his senses and reform. Quite amazing to see that which created such a real moment of “acting” on a concert platform. I saw her a number of times live, she was always wonderful, sad that both she and Rolfe-Johnson were taken from us too soon.
The opening accompagnato for Nictoris is a masterpiece in itself. One of the great Handel roles and I guess something carried from the concerts into the studio. It is a wonderful recording all around.
More Arleen Auger, both she and Edda Moser are in top shape here:
I just ordered the new Met Ring via Prestoclassical. On Blu-ray.
Can anybody please tell me WHY I did this?
Just to set things straight : I’ve listened to all of the broadcasts, never saw anything just watched the trailer so I know nothing about the production per se. However a few thoughts just concerning the musical side of things :
I wish Luisi had conducted all the cycle, or at least Rheingold instead of Levine.
I thought Terfel and Voigt were not up to international standard in their respective roles, whatever their ‘star’ status might be. Voigt was much better in Gotterdammerung but she doesn’t even begin to scratch Stemme’s left foot regarding attention to text, mastery of style and general musicianship, and the voice is what it is, or what’s left of it.
Bltyhe, apparently much lauded here, is utterly miscast in Wagner. She can’t carry the style or even hint at the complexity of her character. This is singing on the epidermis, a very good sight reading of the music.
Owens sounded fantastic, Hunter Morris was acceptable and that makes him great in 2012, Croft OK but I’ve heard more interesting Loges, Westbroek and Kaufmann not the blast I thought they should have been.
CF, I saw two perf. of Walkuere, one in the first year of the Ring (2010?), with Kaufmann and Westbroek. She was sick that first run, she had to cancel a performance or two. I think the HD was from that first year. Last season, she was in much better form, and that evening, we also had a great, fantastic performance by Skelton, the great revelation of the evening.
Hunter Morris I saw once, in GD. He got noticeably tired and his tone deteriorated badly by the time he got to the scene with the three Rhinemaidens. A valiant effort but I don’t think he’s cut for this role. Gould was a better GD Siegfried in the other performance I attended, but he doesn’t look good on stage. Dalayman was the very able and moving Brunnhilde in those 2 GDs.
I heard Dalayman as the GD Brunni w Rattle from Aix and have her on audio with Elder. She is also the Brunni on a complete Ring from Stockholm, generally available unofficially on video on the net. She is a good performer and roughly around 2007-2009 was good in this music but the voice deteriorates as we speak.
Gould I saw and heard here and there and I like him very very much. Skelton is yet an unknown singer to me so I have to catch up. I liked John Keyes 10-12 years ago, he had the appearance and was musically convincing (despite a tendency to go flat or be vague about the pitch) but is he any good now?
WHERE have you BEEN??
It is so bizarre you suddenly reappear as, had there been an Intermission
Feature I would have put out an APB on you! You have not appeared for months and have a lot of ‘splaining to do.
And leave Ian alone! He is now going through a transition in his new home—Sydney. He is one of the few truly witty and bery informed commenters here, so -- lascia perdere!
Luv U 4 Evah & well come bäck!
How are you, carina?????? Yes, the Captain and I went on a long trip by ship around the world, it was wonderful, although he insists on bringing that little Belgian boy, you know our entourage keeps growing, not only Irma, Igor, Thomson and Thompson, now the Belgian boy goes with the Captain everywhere he goes, and he brings that little dog along… Well, of course, everywhere we went, people asked me to sing, specially that lovely aria from Faust, and there was so much acclaim and applause, they wouldn’t let us stop… Ah, just like in old Milano…
I have not been around because it’s a vipers’ nest in here, but you know, it’s not worth rehashing all these old fights and enmities. As you know, I am all for love and friendship. Hope your summer is going well, did you go see Podles in Ciro this summer? Tootles a te!!!!!!
I too only heard the broadcast but the one I don’t get all the praise for is Owens. I distinctly remember that he cracked on all his high notes including the crucial “curse” passage. I am not remembering that wrong, am I?
Richard Paul Fink was stunning as Alberich when I saw him in SF in 2007 I think with the magnificent Stefan Margita as Loge, Mark Delevan Wotan, sang very beautifully if not very “deep” interpretatively, Jennifer Larmore an excellent Fricka, much better cast than this Met one.
I’m not sure about the curse but I think he has what I consider a classic “Alberich” voice, this Schwarz bass-baritonisch silky timbre with easy top (Habich, Neidlinger, Nimsgern, Kelemen, Wlaschiha, Becht and now Oleg Bryjak carries the mantle). I love the role very very much and I ‘need’ this kind of silky voice in the role -- not the kind of booming sound provided for, by example, von Kannen. I liked Owens because I thought he had the style and the voice I associate with the role, and was convincing in his frustration and his despair.
Johannes Martin Kranzle, a stupendous Beckmesser recently on the Glyndebourne Meistersinger, might become a great Alberich in his own right.
The Fricka ‘aria’ and exchange with Wotan in Walkure act 2 is one of my favourite passages in the Ring and IMO many emminent mezzos fail to project all that is happening there and content themself with being miserable, obssessive and indignant. Not enough. Even Ludwig and the estimable Veasy get lost on record, the former probably hampered by her two conductors. Blythe doesn’t even scratch the surface of what should be happening there, IMO. I thought Lipovsek on the Sawallisch video is close to perfection in everything she does, a great singer and a fantastic stage performer, there isn’t a single hand drop or turn of the head which is wasted.
I prefer Ludwig and Schwarz to Blythe’s loud, uninteresting Fricka. She is in no way a singing actress, which is what is needed for Fricka IMO--and I am sorry to say--she looked like a big, ole green cabbage with a sourpuss face!
I think the best Fricka for Walkure, on video at least, is Hanna Schwartz in the Boulez/Chereau cycle. Not only is her singing good, but her acting is tops. Another testament to Chereau’s directorial skills. In Scene 2 of Rheingold, Schwarz casts a dismissive glance at Loge. Fast and subtle, but priceless.
Schwarz is very good but the singing is not really subtle in her Walkure act 2 scene. Have you seen Lipovsek (the Munich Ring, not the La Scala / Muti)?
Gentlemen and ladies, may I put in a word for the great Frickas (Frickae?) of yesteryears?
I thought this too -- he did crack, and I heard it again last night. I’m mystified by all of the intense Owens worship.
an irresistible urge to throw your money away.
OK C/F, this ended up down here. It is in response to your question why you bought the MET DVD.
I uploaded the Sawallisch Walkure
Fricka starts at about 1:06
Copyright © 2016 parterre box - All Rights Reserved