Thursday, 14 August 2014

Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen - Götterdämmerung - Tiroler Festspiele Erl

Performance 3rd August (Part of the 24h-Ring)

The final performance of this opera marathon at 11:00 on the last day closed this amazing experience of the 24h-Ring in Erl. After around 7 hours of break since Siegfried (4 hours of sleep) Götterdämmerung started with the magnificent Nornen scene. The three norns (Rena Kleifeld, Svetlana Kotina and Anna Princeva) had very big voices with a warm and mystirious sound which was perfect for those roles. As the calmer pendant to the rhinemaidens they gave a short synopsis about the "plot" so far packed into the most amazing musical combination of motifs from all three operas we already heard. This is one of the reasons I really like this scene (except of the great vocal parts of the norns) because it is like a potpourri of the Leitmotifs. Directly after the disappearing of the norns we get to see the stars of the evening in the great duet of Brünnhilde and Siegfried. Gianluca Zampieri and Mona Somm both have very strong dramatic voices with great technique and enormous power. Zampieri's tenor combines sheer power with very clear diction and an effortless high register. Mona Somm is an almost perfect Brünnhilde and has a very strong deep register and effortless high notes. Her dramatic phrasing are very convincing and match perfect with the high dramatic vocal part of the Götterdämmerung-Brünnhilde. She is able to deliver Brünnhilde's pain and disappointment perfectly without giving the impression that she's too busy with the singing for acting properly. I was really very pleased with her and liked her Brünnhilde maybe the best.
The Gibichs Gunther, Gutrune and Hagen were played by Michael Kupfer, Susanne Geb and Andrea Silvestrelli. Michael Kupfer (who already sang the Rheingold-Wotan) once again gave a great performance as the not really hero-like Gunther. He still sounded very noble and elegant but at the same time he understood to deliver Gunther's anxiety and worries through his singing. Moreover his acting was really priceless and really impressed me a lot. Susanne Geb as Gutrune had a very beautiful voice and sang this very unthankful and almost boring role with much grace and acted very lovely. Unfortunately this role itself does nothing to me but I could imagine her as a good Sieglinde.
Andrea Silvestrelli also gave a magnificent performance as Hagen, this opera's main antagonist. Once again his incredibly dark voice matched perfectly with the evilness of this character and made us feel the malice and wickedness of Hagen. The duett with his father Alberich at the beginning of the second act was very impressive. Alberich, this time Thomas Gazheli again, also did a great job and showed again that he's also capable to play the evil part as good as the Wanderer in Siegfried.
Also very good was the Waltraute of Anne Schuldt who already sang this role in Die Walküre. This time you were able to hear her very dramatic voice which was perfect for the desperate Waltraute narration in the first act. Her final lines (Weh dir, Schwester. Walhalls Göttern, Weh!!) just gave me chills.
Finally the three rhinemaidens (as in Rheingold, Yukiko Aragaki, Michiko Watanabe and Misaki Ono) made the opening of the third act to one of the highlights of the opera. Their beautiful singing was a delightful contrast to the otherwise very dark opera. It was a pity that they didn't sing more with their strong, but still very delicate voices.
In the end I can say that this Ring performance was an incredible experience for me not least because of the great singing and the orchestra. The exhaustion afterwards was totally worth it and I'm looking forward to see many more operas in Erl. So Götterdämmerung gets 8 stars itself and also in total I would give the Ring cycle in Erl 8 stars out of 10.

Total Ring performance:


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