Sunday, 10 August 2014

Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen - Die Walküre - Tiroler Festspiele Erl

Peformance 2nd August ( Part of the 24h-Ring)

The second opera of the Ring, Die Walküre, started on the next day at 17:00 and was the highlight of the whole Ring for me. After a Walküre in Leipzig and Linz, this performance showed why Die Walküre is the most played one of the four operas.
Gustav Kuhn and his orchestra again gave a great performance with many interesting details in the orchestral part. The three singers of the first act, Andrew Sritheran, Marianna Szivkova and Raphael Sigling, made the first act to one of the great moments of the cycle. Andrew Sritheran sang a Siegmund that does not have to fear the comparisons of the big old recordings. His youthful appearance and his very lyric but strong Heldentenor is perfect for this role. Also his acting and his diction were very exemplary and he gave me goosebumps several times. His sister and bride, Sieglinde, was performed by Ukrainian soprano Marianna Szivkova and she did an amazing job here. The sheer power of her voice was combined with a very beautiful timbre and tone. Every word she sang was so clear and still so powerful that she really impressed me a lot. Weather in the deep register or in the high register, her voice always sounded very elegant and controlled. Her acting made the performance nearly perfect. Finally Raphael Sigling as Hunding stood a little bit in the shadow of the other two singers but still sang very satisfying. He interpreted the unrewarding role of the evil man very convincing and showed why this villain has to die as well in the second act.
This time's Wotan, Vladimir Baykov, did a acceptable job overall, although he had several intonation issues throughout the piece. Due to the fact that he has a very deep voice it did not appear too strong but still it was annoying on time. His wife Fricka, again the great Hermine Haselböck, gave a magnificent performance again and showed more of the dramatic side of Fricka this time. Her portrayal of the poor jealous woman once again was very impressive.
Soprano Bettine Kampp sang the role of Brünnhilde and did not really convince me until the third act. She was good before but the third act really changed my mind. With both, good top and good low notes, she delivered the dramatic content of the revolutionary valkyrie very lovely. Her disruption during the second and third act really very impressive and showed great acting skills. The whole finale between Wotan and her was very touching and did not seem too pathetic (as in many other productions).
The valkyries (Manuela Dumfart, Bernadette Flaitz, Leonora del Rio, Veronika Farkas, Aurora Faggioli, Anne Schuldt, Michaela Bregantin and Alena Sautier) were good, although some of them might have been too heavy for the roles they sang. Nevertheless the overall impression was very satisfying and the ride of the valkyries surely was one of the night's highlights.
This Walküre gets earned 8 stars.

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