Printer Friendly

Lohengrin.

Richard Wagner

DGG: 00440 073 4404

Ontario-born Paul Frey made his Bayreuth Festival debut in 1987 as Lohengrin in this production by German film director Werner Herzog (of Fitzcarraldo fame). The production both launched and established the Canadian Helden- tenor's international career. Between 1987 and 1993, Frey starred in Herzog's production 37 times, setting a Bayreuth record for the most performances of Lohengrin by a single artist. Since Frey, now retired, recorded relatively little, we are fortunate to have this 1990 document of him during his prime.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

American Cheryl Studer, with her radiant, youthful-sounding soprano and expressive acting, is ideally cast as Elsa. Gabriela Schnaut's Ortrud, on the other hand, is a bit like Ethel Merman on steroids. But while her powerhouse voice may not be pretty, it certainly has dramatic impact--as witness her riveting Act II curse. Ekkehard Wlaschiha is clearly overparted as Telramund--particularly in his Act II confrontation with Lohengrin--while Manfred Schenk makes a pallid King Henry. In addition to Eike Wilm Schulte's outstanding, stentorian Herald, mention should be made of the sonorous Bayreuth Festival Chorus directed by Norbert Balatsch. Peter Schneider conducts with authority, but with a certain anonymity.

Henning von Gierke's handsome sets and costumes upstage Herzog's static direction. The opening and closing scenes are particularly effective--all ice, stone, snow and barren trees, lit by a misty yet luminous cold winter light. The moonlit River Scheldt in Act II features real water on stage, with waves audibly lapping the shoreline. Only the Act III bridal scene, with the marriage bed set in the middle of a rough-hewn northern tundra, seems out of place.--NC
COPYRIGHT 2008 Opera Canada Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:DVDs
Publication:Opera Canada
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Words:270
Previous Article:Un ballo in maschera.
Next Article:The final take: music Richard Margison can't live without.
Topics:


Related Articles
Bob.
The Great Composers Fake Book, Revised and Expanded Edition.
In 2006, tenor Ben Heppner makes his debut in a new role and reprises some he has not sung for many seasons.
A grand Wagnerian tradition: Richard Turp traces the surprisingly long arc of Canadian singers who have embraced the composer's music.
Early adopters, disciples and travelling shows: how the music of the future came to Canada.
Santorella Publications, Ltd.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters