Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen - Götterdämmerung - Oper Leipzig

Performance 8th May

The great anticipated finale of the Ring in Leipzig took place on sunday and the atmosphere was highly charged. In the end it was an epic climax after some great performances at the Oper Leipzig. The production of Götterdämmerung (Rosamund Gilmore) seemed most natural to me and the interaction between the different singers was quite convincing. Gilmore's ideas for this opera were way more interesting and gave a fine impression. The prestigious loft with view to the Rhine (Carl Friedrich Oberle) looked very impressively and especially the pillars (some characters disappeared within these pillars) were a great idea. The costumes (Nicola Reichert) were a bit ambivalent. Some of them (Norns, Gutrune and Gunther) were really beautiful while others were just not really appropriate and did not impress at all.
The musical part seemed to better as well this time. Ulf Schirmer still should have kept the orchestra (especially the brass) a bit better under control but alltogether it sounded better than in Walküre or Siegfried. Schirmer can be happy to have singers who are not easily covered by the immense outbreaks of the orchestra. Nevertheless the Gewandhausorchester showed great musicality and excitement for this performance. A very good performance was done by the Chor der Oper Leipzig during the solemn second act. They sounded really brilliantly and gave a fine performance.
The two female trios, the norns and the rhinemaidens, were casted really well and sang very beautifully. Especially the norn scene was simply brilliant. Olena Tokar, Kathrin Göring and Karin Lovelius gave a very well balanced and mystirious trio with great phrasing. Especially Tokar impressed me with a very clear and bright, but still quite powerful voice. Lovelius also sang the role of Waltraute later and gave a solid performance there as well. A bit more power (and less power in the orchestra) would have made it better but it was fine anyway. Magdalena Hinterdobler, Sandra Maxheimer and Sandra Janke sang the rhinemaidens with very beautiful seductive voices. Also this trio sounded well balanced and gave a ravishing performance.
As Alberich we heard Jochen Schmeckenbecher who did a good job. His voice suits the role very well and his short appearance during act 2 was very interesting. In the role of Gutrune we heard Marika Schönberg again who seemed to be more happy with this role. It suited her voice way better than Freia and she gave a very emotional and touching performance. Tuomas Pursio also gave a better performance as Gunther than as Wotan. His elegant voice suited the character very well and his portrayal was really good. With the role of Hagen we also heard Rúni Brattaberg again who gave a good performance. The role might bring him to his limits in the upper register but everything else was really intensive. His dark timbre and the intimidating performance were simply great.
I was really excited to hear Thomas Mohr as Siegfried after his great Loge in Rheingold. He actually managed the role really well. His voice has a very bright and light timbre but also the power to sing over the orchestra and manage this very demanding role. His diction and his acting were also really great and helped to give a very solid convincing performance. Only in the third act he already seemed a bit tired, but his performance still worked out pretty well.
Christiane Libor on the other hand seemed to have never-ending resources of power for her Brünnhilde. She used her shining soprano without any consideration and gave an extremely intensive performance throughout the whole evening. Her beautiful voice was so powerful and radiant that it was a pleasure to hear her. Especially her top register is of such impeccable quality and radiance that her high notes float through the auditorium with such ease and power. Only her lower register still needs a bit more power and maybe some time, but I am sure that this will work out soon enough. I have to admit that I never heard a better Brünnhilde live so far. BRAVA!!
Alltogether it was a brilliant finale for the Ring cycle and I am happy that I have been part of it. The performance of Götterdämmerung gets 8 stars for a very fine evening.
Reviewed by Daniel Url

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