The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 5, Episode 12

Wagner: Die Walküre (5 Feb. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Music
8.3
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Ring Cycle part 2, where we learn that two of Wotan's kids are having an incestuous affair, his wife is furious, so Valkyrie Brunnhilde is sent to fix things (ie, kill them). But she lets ... See full summary »

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Title: Wagner: Die Walküre (05 Feb 2012)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Jonas Kaufmann ...
Siegmund
Eva-Maria Westbroek ...
Sieglinde
Hans-Peter König ...
Hunding
Bryn Terfel ...
Wotan
Deborah Voigt ...
Brünnhilde
Stephanie Blythe ...
Fricka
Kelly Cae Hogan ...
Gerhilde
Molly Fillmore ...
Helmwige
Marjorie Elinor Dix ...
Waltraute
Mary Phillips ...
Schwertleite
Wendy Bryn Harmer ...
Ortlinde
Eve Gigliotti ...
Siegrune
Mary Ann McCormick ...
Grimgerde
Lindsay Ammann ...
Rossweisse
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Anderer ...
Himself - The Metropolitan Opera Brass Section, Principal Horn
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Storyline

Ring Cycle part 2, where we learn that two of Wotan's kids are having an incestuous affair, his wife is furious, so Valkyrie Brunnhilde is sent to fix things (ie, kill them). But she lets them escape instead, and oh boy, is Wotan angry now. Written by dnitzer

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5 February 2012 (Japan)  »

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User Reviews

 
Not quite as good as Das Rheingold, but wonderfully sung
24 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although they have had their misses, I am very loyal to the Met HD series, I just love opera and it gives me ample opportunity to watch some favourites and to admire new discoveries. Die Walkure is just another part of the epic ring cycle by Wagner. This Met production of Die Walkure is not quite as good as the triumph that was Das Rheingold but it is just as impressive and wonderfully sung on the whole. Technically it is great, with splendid high definition, and the camera work, picture quality and sound are equally impressive.

Robert Lepage's stage direction is not quite as ambitious as his Das Rheingold, but once again he takes on an enormous task and succeeds admirably with it. The costumes add to the mood as do the large sets, particularly the rocky landscape set in Act 2. Lepage's technical wizardry manages to not overshadow Wagner's music, even with like Das Rheingold a few minor things that inevitably detract. I found the golden eye in Act 2 to be the most impressive image, and Wotan's Farewell scene is monumental in every way.

From a musical point of view, it has some fantastic moments but not as consistent as Das Rheingold. The orchestra, apart from a sometimes fatigued brass section, play with a rich sound, and James Levine's conducting is nuanced and deeply felt if occasionally plodding. Their best moments were the closing scene of Act 1, which was full of beauty and sonority, and Wotan's Farewell. I was disappointed however in Walkürenritt, it is messy with the orchestra never quite sure of the tempo and the staging seemed a little too claustrophobic.

The cast are fantastic generally, wonderful singing and acting from most. Eve Marie Westbroek fared weakest I feel as Sieglinde, her voice is rich and powerful to start with but loses fire and luster. Jonas Kaufmann fares much better though as her brother Siegmund. I did have reservations about him singing Siegmund, Kaufmann has a wonderful lyric-spinto voice with a lovely dark baritone quality but when it comes to Wagner it is one more suited to Lohengrin. He still sings wonderfully though, with plenty of intensity and beautiful soft singing, and is heroic and commanding enough. Maybe though if he takes on the role again, it's better to do it in a smaller theatre.

Deborah Voight is a strong presence as Brunhilde, with her top full and ringing and her middle while not as pleasant in the sound(sometimes a little nasal) it is much more appealing than some of her other performances. She is very commanding, and her diction is fairly idiomatic if at times overdoing the consonants. Stephanie Blythe sounds absolutely thrilling as Fricka, lots of passion and power, outstanding vocal evenness and colour and intelligent painting of words. Hans-Peter Konig is wonderful as Hunding, lots of richness and menace in the voice and a presence that is towering and enough to make the skin crawl.

Bryn Terfel may occasionally lack resonance in his lower registers, but the top rings out, and overall his Wotan is a very incisive and authoritative characterisation. All in all, very impressive and sung and performed to a high standard. Just not quite a triumph. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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