Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Metropolitan Opera – Wagner’s Die Walkure. May 6, 2013.

Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Family Circle (Seat G208, $57.50).

Conductor – Fabio Luisi; Siegmund – Simon O’Neill, Sieglinde – Martina Serafin, Hunding – Hans-Peter Konig, Wotan – Greer Grimsley, Brunnhilde – Deborah Voight, Fricka – Stephanie Blythe, Gerhilde – Deborah Mayer, Helmwige – Molly Fillmore, Waltraute – Jennifer Johnson Cano, Schwertleite – Mary Phillips, Ortlinde – Wendy Bryn Harmer, Sigrune – Eve Gigliotti, Grimgerde – Mary Ann McCormick, Rossweisse – Rebecca Ringle.

Story.  See previous post.

Today I drove in, and it was certainly more leisurely as traffic was light during non-rush hours.

As I was hoping, I did get into the performance.  First, the singing was uniformly good.  While the beginning half of Act I was a bit slow for my taste, the three principal singers all did a great job.  I also found myself emotionally invested in many parts of the story, and how inexorably the plot developed.   There were quite a few of these scenes, such as the one where Brunnhilde and Siegmund "talked" while Sieglinde was asleep.  Also, the story made more sense to me this fourth time around.

Today’s seat was a row up and a little bit to the side of my seat on Saturday.  Perhaps because of that, or because the cast is different, the music sounded much clearer.  Even Wotan, whose performance in Das Rheingold I panned a bit, did quite okay.  And Stephanie Blythe returned from her illness and sang brilliantly as Fricka.

As I was going through my files, I noticed that Grimsley also sang the role of Wotan at the first Ring cycle I attended, in Seattle.  I think he even dressed in a similar fashion.  One noticeable difference is the eye-patch was worn on his left eye today, and on his right during the Seattle run.  (I know this because I kept a copy of the Seattle program with Wotan’s pictures in it.)

At the Act 2 curtain call Blythe walked out with a cane in her hand.  She had a lot of trouble walking.  I wish her well.

In the past I found Siegfried to be a bit on the mundane side.  Will Wednesday’s performance also change my view?

I found this interesting video on Youtube:  The Ring in 2.5 Minutes.  Some think it is sacrilegious to do something like that.  I thought it is very helpful for the uninitiated.  It actually has a very good synopsis of the plot, and includes many of the leitmotifs.

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