July 06, 2012 17:33
It's been quite a journey this season with a dastardly Roman Chief of Police, a loyal sidekick to a long winded knight, a sea captain who can only harbor once every seven years, a water goblin (who ended up with a broken flipper), two fine gentlemen of Firenze (in one night), the owner of a castle with seven strange doors (and four wives), and, finally, a wandering defeated deity who gives it up for his grandson (and daughter)---don't ask. Throw in a few little recitals as well as cantering and you have a wonderful year--- but now for some rest in order to get it all going again in September!!!
July 05, 2012 12:05
As I wrote earlier in the week, it’s great to be back in Munich and at The Bavarian State Opera. I first sang with this company over 15 years ago and I’m thrilled to be premiering my 10th different role here tomorrow night as Der Wanderer (Wotan) in “Siegfried”. It’s been over 3 years since I’ve sung this role anywhere and so I’m very excited to bring him back onto the stage and in this very interesting production. This opera company, of course, has a tremendous and long history performing the works of Richard Wagner. Several of his operas were premiered here. This will be my 5th Wagner role in Munich---each one is a bit intimidating. When you sing this repertoire here, you’re surrounded with a tremendous history. In this production, I’m surrounded as well by a great cast, supportive colleagues on and off the stage, and by the amazing orchestra. Their sense of this music is unsurpassed and it is a treat to perform with them and to listen to them during my rests. I haven’t had a lot of rehearsal for tomorrow night. In fact, I’ve probably had a total of four hours of stage rehearsal (none of it on the stage) and about 2.5 hours of non-stage orchestra time. I’m working with at least 3 singers who I’ve never worked before as well. This, too, can make things a little scary. However, in some ways, it makes things exciting as well. I have to be more on my toes and truly have a chance to make the acting be spontaneous and real. This production features something like 100 “extra” performers (supernumeraries) who I won’t see at all until I’m on stage with them. I just hope I don’t pierce one of them with my spear. I will have to concentrate extra hard so that I’m not distracted by all the extra stage business and to also be in strong contact with the pit in this very tricky and demanding piece.One other challenge will be the heat. It’s not as hot here as it is back on the east coast of the States. However, it’s warm enough and quite muggy. I also have to wear various layers of clothing including a few woolen items. Hydration is going to be important.All of this is just to show some of the many considerations we have as singers in any given performance. In an opera of this length (over 5 hours), the concerns are multiplied. However, I’m now a veteran in the business and well versed in the demands of Wagner. Bring it on!!!