||[Nov. 5th, 2011|09:48 pm]
How time flies. Just saw the third opera in Wagner's Ring cycle via Met telecast. Only one left now: Goetterdaemmerung.|
This Siegfried was pretty much two and a half acts of pure delight, though some of it probably not quite intentional, and then 40 or so really underwhelming minutes with Bruenhilde. The stage machine actually worked like it was supposed to, - a bit noisy but c'est la vie. It really does create magical sets, so perhaps it was worth all that moolah.
Everyone returned from the previous productions, - Mime (very clear and quite powerful, especially in contrast to reedy Siegfried), Wotan (Bryn Terfel, fabulous from habit to boot), Alberich (delicious), Fafner, Erda, and Bruenhilde (even more meh than last time - Voigt sounds rather screechy on high notes). The tenor singing Siegfried, however, was an understudy, this aw-shucks middle-aged guy from Paris, Texas. Not a big voice but a sweet one, a lyric tenor instead of a Heldentenor. Quite suitable to sing a 17-year old boy, but perhaps not quite as suitable to sing a 17-year old demigod. He did his best to gambol on stage, but he couldn't quite recreate Siegfried's off-putting masculine teenage aggression, so he just looked like a frolicking golden retriever. He's also plainly not used to having an HD camera trained on him, unless he really did intend for all those adorably puzzled faces to be seen by everyone. Perhaps he did - he certainly played Siegfried silly and dit-witted to the hilt.
But the biggest laughs came during intermission, when he would retreat backstage. Since this was a telecast, he got ambushed by Renee Fleming with a microphone after every act. Imagine Siegfried striding backstage in his armor, the sword Nothung in hand, tall, broad, with a great blonde mane halfway down his back, suddenly blinking his baby blues helplessly at the nice lady and meowling: "Oh my Gaaaawd this is so haaard!...I have no oxygen left in my braaaaain!.." Then the camera would follow him to his room, and all the females in the movie theater would exhale this massive "Aaaawww..." watching him crash on the couch and curl up around a blanket. In some ways, it was a perfect continuation of the opera itself: not exactly Siegfried the Blond Beast; more like Siegfried the Blond Moment.