23 February 2010

Bayreuth Festival 2010 cast announced

The Bayreuth Festival 2010 cast has been announced on the Bayreuther Festspiele Homepage.

The unpleasant Sachs role in Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger sees a replacement once again. Now James Rutherford is replacing Alan Titus (who last year replaced Franz Hawlata). Missed will the wonderful Sieglinde by Eva-Maria Westbroek be, although Edith Haller should be a good replacement. Johan Botha's Siegmund will certainly be a popular face among those who are more concerned with voice than allround music theatre skills. He replaces Endrik Wottrich, who says goodbye for good to Bayreuth. The disgraceful plans of video filming this Walküre instead of Parsifal have not, according to our sources, been changed during the cold winter.

Bayreuth veteran Eric Halfvarson replaces Hans-Peter König as Hagen in Götterdämmerung, the best of the four productions of Tancred Dorst's highly forgettable Ring production.

As already mentioned here on the Wagner blog, Susan Maclean will replace Mihoko Fujimura as Kundry in Herheim's Parsifal production, and Lance Ryan will replace Christian Franz as Siegfried.

Klaus Florian Vogt doesn't betray Katharina - his Walther is one of the highlights of the current Bayreuth festivals, although Katharina's interpretation of the character is not a favourite among the conservative elements in Bayreuth. A highlight this year will also most certainly be Jonas Kaufmann in the Neuenfels Lohengrin.

The cast of Hans Neuenfels' new production of Lohengrin is:
Lohengrin Jonas Kaufmann
Heinrich der Vogler Georg Zeppenfeld
Elsa von Brabant Annette Dasch
Friedrich von Telramund Lucio Gallo
Ortrud Evelyn Herlitzius
Der Heerrufer des Königs Samuel Youn
1. Edler Stefan Heibach
2. Edler Willem van der Heyden
3. Edler Rainer Zaun
4. Edler Christian Tschelebiew

Samuel Youn has a wide Wagner repertoire, singing (or having sung) Wotan, Kurwenal, Gunther, Hagen, Amfortas, Klingsor, Biterolf, Holländer, Donner. At Bayreuth he has previously sung 2. Gralsritter (2004-2007), and Reinmar von Zweter (2005 and 2007).

Bayreuth Festival 2010 info here

Wagner Weeks at Deutsche Oper Berlin 2010

Deutsche Oper Berlin has just finished the Wagner Weeks – with a sold out performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the musical direction of general music director Donald Runnicles.

Deutsche Oper Berlin had 30.377 visitors for six Wagner productions and a total of 18 Wagner performances starting 22 November, 2009. That means 91% of all seats were sold, the new production of Rienzi even reached 100%.

With Richard Wagner the cycle of four important composers for large scale operas has come to an end. Since 2006/07 the Deutsche Oper Berlin presented first Puccini, then Verdi in 2008 and last year Richard Strauss.


18 February 2010

Lance Ryan to sing Siegfried at Bayreuth 2010

Lance Ryan will sing Siegfried in the Tancred Dorst production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth this summer. Lance Ryan will also sing the role in Cologne in June, in Shanghai (expo 2010) in September, in Strasbourg in Feb 2011, in Frankfurt 2011/12, in München 2012, in Berlin 2012, at La Scala 2012, in Florence 2013. This has been confirmed by Lance Ryan's agent.

Lance Ryan also sings Siegfried on the Valencia Ring on DVD/Bluray.

There will also be other cast changes: Endrik Wottrich is leaving Bayreuth for good, he says, and Johan Botha will replace him as Siegmund. Since acting skills are not required in the postcard production by Tancred Dorst, this will be a fine replacement. As mentioned before, Susan Maclean will replace Mihoko Fujimura as Kundry in Stefan Herheim's Parsifal production.

Lance Ryan's Homepage
Bayreuth Festival 2010

12 February 2010

James King as Siegfried

James King was asked to learn Siegfried Act 3 by Leonard Bernstein on short notice before the Wagner concert Bernstein held in Vienna in 1985.

The programme of the concert consisted of Die Walküre (ending) and Act 3 of Siegfried.

The clip above is from the scene when Siegfried discovers Brünnhilde (and that she is not a man).

05 February 2010

Los Angeles Activities

In April, the County of Los Angeles Public Library presents German Opera Tales in partnership with LA Opera. This fun, high energy show tours to various libraries for free family performances. The "opera pals," four professional opera singers, perform musical moments from such German opera stories as Wagner's Das Rheingold, Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, and Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio in celebration of LA Opera's Ring cycle and the Ring Festival LA.

On April 16, Los Angeles Educational Partnership' Humanitas program will come to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to present a multi-media student arts festival in partnership with LA Opera. Students and teachers from more than 30 LAUSD schools will collaborate with Los Angeles artists to explore Wagner's Ring cycle through visual art, fashion, spoken word, music, film and other art forms.

The Los Angeles Public Library presents the "We Tell Stories" play Rhine's Gold on April 24, at the Central Library. The award-winning children's storytelling troupe has produced this original children's play based on Richard Wagner's opera, Das Rheingold. After its debut, it will tour to various libraries in Los Angeles.

The Music Center of Los Angeles County's Pillow Theatre is a free performance series designed specifically for families with children ages 3 through 6, with interactive visual arts workshops following each performance. Pillow Theatre brings German Opera Tales to the Grand Hall of Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on May 1, for two performances at 10 and 11:15 am. Little ones will be introduced to wonderful stories and melodies of some of the most beloved German operas, including Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, Wagner's Das Rheingold, and Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio.

Symphony in the Glen will present a concert "Union in Partition: The Case of Wagner v. Mendelssohn," that will take puckish delight in presenting both Richard Wagner's Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin and Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Maestro Arthur B. Rubinstein and the orchestra, joined by the Independent Shakespeare Company and a children's chorus, will transform Griffith Park into Shakespeare's Athenian forest.

The Young Musicians Foundation takes the stage at the Broad Theatre on January 31, at 4pm presenting Act II of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. They will also perform a concert at UCLA's Royce Hall on June 5.

Ute Vinzig

Dramatic soprano Ute Vinzig as Brünnhilde in the Wagner concert Leonard Bernstein did with the Vienna Philharmonic in Vienna, 1985.

Finding reliable info about Vinzig has proved to be difficult. Do you know anything about her?

No 2013 Ring director named yet

Katharina Wagner says that Tom Tykwer definitely will not direct the 2013 Ring at Bayreuth. According to her, the name is not ready for publication yet. Tom Tykwer did not want to comment on the rumours when they were first posted on the Wagner blog.

Interview with Katharina Wagner here

03 February 2010

Adrienne Dugger and Bayreuth agreement

Adrienne Dugger and Bayreuth has finally reached an agreement about payment after the singer was sent home from the 2008 Festival, according to DPA (via Festspiele.de). A few weeks before the 2008 Festival started, the Festival stated that Dugger had withdrawn of "personal reasons", which is the Bayreuth Festival's way of saying that they (Christian Thielemann) did not want her to sing Brünnhilde in the Thielemann/Dorst Ring. The Ring was recorded that summer and recently released on CD with Linda Watson as Brünnhilde.