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HomeOperaApproaching Valhalla « parterre field

Approaching Valhalla « parterre field

Zurich takes a proprietary curiosity in Wagner’s Ring cycle, particularly Die Walküre. Wagner not solely composed the music for the opera whereas residing in Zurich, however sang components of it on the Resort Bar au Lac in 1856 together with his father-in-law Franz Liszt on the piano.

That is Zurich’s first Ring since 2000, when it mounted a manufacturing by Robert Wilson with Franz Welser-Möst conducting. It’s a primary additionally for Andreas Homoki, intendant of the Zurich Opera, and Gianandrea Noseda, who grew to become the corporate’s music director in April 2021. The preliminary installment, Das Rheingold, premiered in April 2022 and Die Walküre was first introduced final month. The whole cycle with be carried out within the 23/24 season.

Homoki has planted the motion in a Nineteenth-century villa on the Lake of Zurich, with Wotan and Fricke elegantly attired in kinds of the period. The villa’s paneled partitions are painted white and there’s little else of word visually save a large gilt desk and chairs, in addition to a sensible portray of Valhalla. A complete of 25 scene adjustments happen on the revolving stage, which lend a mesmerizing stream to the motion. It’s stark however evocative.

In contrast to Das Rheingold, which Homoki populated with characters out of Hollywood movies, he performs it straight with Die Walküre. In case you can settle for the premise that the ash tree into which Wotan imbedded a sword, a wintry forest scene, and the rock upon which Brünnhilde sleeps seem throughout the 4 partitions of the villa, there’s nothing unsettling about his idea. Every little thing is accurately from the Valkyries’ equine helmets and the shattered items of Siegmund’s sword Nothung, to the smoldering rock upon which Brünnhilde sleeps because the curtain falls.

The actual strengths of Zurich’s Die Walküre relaxation within the musical realm, nevertheless, not the visible. Zurich assembled a established Wagnerians that embody their characters each visually and vocally to a tee. (All 4 of the principals had been acting at Bayreuth whereas rehearsing this manufacturing.) Its different virtues are doubtless Noseda and the very good Philharmonia Zürich.

The opera home, which seats 1,100, additionally performs its half. The lastly etched characterizations undoubtedly had been due in no small half to Homoki’s deft contact as a director, however that facial expressions and the slightest actions carried into the home was as a result of dimension of the theater.

The Sieglinde of Daniela Okayöhler and Siegmund of Eric Cutler stood out. From his first look on stage, the tall, strapping Cutler embodied the younger man whom misfortune follows. His singing was forthright with the cries of “Wälse!” ringing clear and free. In grey homespun, Köhler was skittish and fearful when the stranger entered Hunding’s hut, however she immediately sensed a harmful and illicit connection between them. As Sieglinde’s consciousness and love blossomed, so did Köhler’s lustrous soprano.

Agency of voice and resolute in character, Christof Fischesser’s Hunding not solely knew that he and his males had been in quick pursuit of Siegmund, however straight away additionally discerned the unsettling connection between his spouse and the stranger. Youthful and vigorous, albeit stolid and hidebound, it was not this Hunding’s fault that he was a pawn in Frick’s sport of one-upmanship with Wotan.

Wearing black, his one eye clouded by a milky whiteness, Tomasz Konieczny created a towering, if weak, Wotan by way of although his distinctive mixture of voice, mind and appearing expertise. Konieczny’s voice rang out in triumph and despair, however crumpled when beset by doubt and in defeat. At instances he sang, barely above the sound of a whisper. Wotan’s Monologue, “Leb’ wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Type!”, wherein he bids farewell to Brünnhilde, was as transferring because it was profound.

Armed with spear and protect, Camilla Nylund was a warrior maiden come to life along with her flowing blond hair and decided stride. The voice is sizable sufficient for the position, however lacks the slice and thrust related to the good Brünnhildes.

The Fricka of Patricia Bardon was cool and calculating, with a voice that will reduce by way of granite, as she mercilessly and systematically pierced Wotan’s hopes to save lots of Siegmund. The longer term glory of a race sired by her husband with a mortal mattered little in her calculations, when her pleasure had been wounded.

Undoubtedly, Fricka discovered the full-voiced Helmwige of Sarah Cambidge, who enthusiastically led her sisters within the Trip of the Valkyries, equally annoying. One couldn’t assist however suppose this was a future Brünnhilde within the making. The staging through the boisterous Hojotohos was baffling; the Valkyries appeared intent on harassing and humiliating the lifeless heroes presumably destined for Valhalla.

The sounds that emerged from the pit had been superb. Noseda’s sense of steadiness between singer and orchestra was ever current, as was his pacing of the motion. Every of the leitmotifs had been clear and distinct, however firmly built-in into the general sound of the orchestra. None was extra spectacular as when the orchestra swelled in a wave of ardour as Sieglinde and Siegmund kissed for the primary time.

With Noseda within the pit, expectations run excessive for what’s to return in Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, to say nothing of what Homoki may subsequent have up his sleeve.

Photographs: Monika Rittershaus



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