Monday, January 22, 2018

Die Walküre

Conductor:  Kirill Petrenko
Production:  Andreas Kriegenburg

Siegmund:  Simon O'Neill
Hunding:  Ain Anger [Ain Anger is bae. I stole this]
Wotan:  John Lundgren
Sieglinde:  Anja Kampe
Brünnhilde:  Nina Stemme
Fricka:  Ekaterina Gubanova

Die Walküre streamed from the Bayerische Staatsoper today.  Somehow I thought it was tomorrow and missed the first part.  I'm watching it on demand.  This is my favorite Wagner.

The first thing we notice is the stage is full of thin young women from the ballet.  They seem to be mostly set dressing.  When the sword theme plays, they shine small palm lights on the sword in the tree.  The director says they represent a context.

The second thing we notice is that while Ain Anger is beautiful to hear and see, in his role as Hunding he is a pig.  He dries his hands on his wife's dress.

I would describe this production as rural minimalism.  Without the ballet women it might get too dull.  Above you see the dead who are brought to Valhalla hanging on poles.  Perhaps that's who the girls are--the paradise maidens.  This production is making me smile.

I love this opera, more than any other Wagner.  The singing from Munich is glorious.  I love that the story is about love.  I like Tristan, but this grabs me more.  Kirill Petrenko wins again with the most applause.  Perhaps my operatic soul is German.

There is lots of shouting.  This is as it should be.

Post Script.  I always love Nina Stemme best, but it is curious to see her drinking from a plastic bottle of water and then rolling it into the wings.  Anja Kampe was outstanding as Sieglinde.

John Lundgren as Wotan was powerful and godlike with a wonderful low register.

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