Metropolitan Opera's Die Walkere This Saturday
The New Production Gleams
By: Susan Hall - May 12, 2011
Die Walkere arrives at the Mahalwe and Clark Theaters this Saturday at noon, a bit earlier than usual because you are getting five and a half hours of opera for your buck. The arrival of the Walkeres at the beginning of Act III, which still photographs can't capture accurately, is well worth the price of the ticket.
At the dress rehearsal on Monday evening, several performances were stunning. First and foremost, Stephanie Blythe as Frika. Arriving on stage by throne, grasping the rams' horn arms firmly and taking control of her husband Wotan, who is too emotional to be an effective God, she sings with consummate beauty. Bryn Terfel is a singing actor of the first order, and although he may not have the bass range the role of Wotan requires, he more than makes up for it with his beautiful baritone, and the kind of detailed acting performance which is rare on the opera stage.
As he enters up high in the hilla in Act II with Brunhilde at his side, you get to see the full glory of Robert LaPage's set conception, which still gives the singers some provblems. They are worth solving, because the set is a thing of beauty and very often dramatic in its ability to move as the music does.
You will be treated also to the dramatic voices of Eva Marie Wesbroek as Sieglinde and Jonas Kaufman in the role of Siegmund. While many were concerned about Deborah Voight as Brunhilde, she sings the role with aploumb. The Walkere costume is sure to be copied by Prada, Maz Azria or some other A list designer.
Wagner's music is magnificently conceived by the Met Orchestra, which was conducted by Maestro Levine at the rehearsal.