Wagnerian Encounters at Siegfried

     Today was another amazing day at the Metropolitan Opera! I attended the matinée of Siegfried at the Met with my Dad, and my Mom was in the pit playing under Maestro Luisi. The cast included Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried, Gerhard Siegel as Mime, Mark Delavan as the Wanderer, Eric Owens as Alberich, Hans-Peter König as Fafner, Lisette Oropesa as the Forest Bird, Meredith Arwady as Erda, and Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde. It was a fabulous performance with some fun in-between backstage action.

Photo: Me and Jay Hunter Morris, who was Siegfried this afternoon! I went backstage during the second intermission to the Met Cafeteria, where all the singers hang out. He came through carrying a coke and an apple, and positively glowed at the sight of my horns. He said he was happy to take a photo!

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     Jay Hunter Morris sang and played a fun, boyish, young Siegfried…and he MADE IT! So many Siegfrieds have dreadfully crashed and burned before Act III even begins, not this guy. Mr. Morris has stamina and still had a full-tank by the end of the opera. He was entertaining to watch as well, especially around Mime. In the first act, Mr. Morris actually started to mouth the words of Mime’s lecture, making it look like he had heard it billions of times before. It was hilarious and I laughed out loud! I also felt as if he was more comfortable in the role of Siegfried than last year, but I am sure that many singers feel that way when returning to a role that they have already premiered. 

     Gerhard Siegel was a hilarious Mime. A little more toned-down than last year, it was still fun to watch. His scene with Mark Delavan was hilarious, especially with the height difference between the two. Delavan sang a powerful Wanderer, more powerful than his two previous Wotans. At some points Delavan was covered by the orchestra, especially in his scene with Erda in Act III. Other than that, he was fantastic!

     Photo: Me and Eric Owens, the Alberich of the afternoon! He came back to the Cafeteria after Act II to hang out, so we chatted for a bit. I actually know him through my Mom, because he and my Mom both studied at Temple University and they both studied oboe! How about that? He loved my horns by the way…

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     Eric Owens played a selfish, frustrated Alberich. He did not want Wotan messing his plans up again! His voice has grown so well into the role of Alberich, along with his acting. He is a joy and is positively hilarious not only offstage, but onstage as well, and brings that happiness to the audience.

     Hans-Peter König played the drowsy Fafner, hilariously passing off Siegfried’s threat saying, “I’ll devour him”. His deep voice rang through the house and created a resonance. Lisette Oropesa was a lovely forest bird. Her voice was light and clear, just like her Gilda. Speaking of that: She has a double-day today! She not only sang the Forest Bird today, but she is singing Gilda in Rigoletto tonight for the Saturday night show! Go her!

     Meredith Arwady was a great Erda. Her voice, along with her dress, flashed all around the house. That scene of the Lepage production is beautiful. It is dark blue with shiny rocks surrounding Erda’s hideaway. Her dress is covered in black agates that reflect light all over the house. Wotan also blends well with his long white hair and….oh it’s just so beautiful! 

Photo: Act III of Siegfried with Patricia Bardon (last season). Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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     Deborah Voigt did wonderfully as Brünnhilde. Her high notes were shot all around the house and were particularly ringing today. I believe that this performance was her best yet of her times singing Brünnhilde.

     This performance of Siegfried was fantastic, even without Bryn Terfel and the others of the original cast. Having more encounters backstage was also fun. Even with my retirement from the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, it has been a privilege and an enjoyment to still be able to go backstage at the Met. There is nothing quite like seeing Siegfried walk through the Met Cafeteria in costume, carrying an apple and a coke. 

     PS: I had the opportunity also to meet the cast of Dialogues des Carmelites! I got to talk to Maestro Louis Langrée and tell him that I was in La Bohème. He chided that I was wearing a beret then, not viking horns! I also got to say hello to Patricia Racette and Elizabeth Bishop! My Dad and I got to tell her how wonderful she was as Didon when she replaced Susan Graham back in the Winter. She was touched. Not only am I looking forward to my ‘Ring Cycle 2’, but I am also looking forward to seeing Dialogues des Carmelites for the first time.

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