In RA format
In RA format
Siegfried, May 12th, 2008
The Wiener Staatsoper has a new Siegfried in Sven Erik Bechtolf's stage production that is remarkable only for being so
extraordinarily unremarkable, and conductor Franz Welser-Möst would be quite congenial, musically, but leaves a more
lingering impression since he makes the orchestra produce such an overloud and tinny sound. Most of the singers, though,
were surprisingly good, and that included Stephen Gould in the title role. True, in the 1920s, he would have sung Siegfried
at the municipal theatres of Reichenberg or Barmen-Elberfeld, but given the present situation on the heldentenor market,
even a first-level opera house has to be satisfied with a Siegfried like him. He was nowhere really good, but also nowhere
really akward, and sang this monstrous part through the end without too heavy problems. The better tenor, however,
was Herwig Pecoraro as Mime, though his voice is somewhat lyrical for this rather dramatic comprimario part, and though
he is lacking the low register for the first half of the first act. Nonetheless, he gave an excellent portrayal, and
whenever the melody is not too low, he is a demanding partner for every Siegfried at present, often better to be
heard than Gould, for example (let alone the one really terrible singer in this production, voiceless and techniqueless
Wanderer Juha Uusitalo).
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the long Siegfried excerpt and the review.
I wish to thank Helmut Krautschneider for the recordings (Holländer, Nothung 2).