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Classic Bayreuth Festival Production Shows Valkyries’ Dirty Work

two women dressed as valkryies walking Valkyries at the Saga, the largest Live Action Role Playing Game in Israel.
Despite their seemingly glamorous existence, being a valkyrie is not a walk in the park.
10:57AM
June
16, 2011

A 1976 Bayreuth Festival production of Die Walkure shows the glamorous Valkyries doing their not-so-glamorous jobs.

The Met’s Die Walküre – All Those Valkyries and the Machine Breaks Down!!?!

A scene from Act 3 of Wagner's Die Walküre at The Metropolitan Opera
A scene from Act 3 of Wagner's Die Walküre in a production at The Metropolitan Opera.
2:40PM
May
16, 2011

Despite a late start due to technical difficulties, I have never enjoyed Die Walküre as much as I did last Saturday in an HD transmission from The Metropolitan Opera.

Classical Haiku: Richard Wagner

Wagner
8:00AM
April 28, 2011

Today’s Classical Haiku goes to Richard Wagner, whose music dramas might be a bit much, but only too much of a good thing.

Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra

NBC Studios
30 Rockefeller Center was once home to the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
11:30AM
December
29, 2010

Long gone are the days when television networks had there own orchestras. But, luckily, they’re performances are still preserved on Youtube.

Metropolitan Opera’s New ‘Das Rheingold’

A scene from the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Wagner’s ‘Das Rheingold’ with Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Franz-Josef Selig as Fasolt, Dwayne Croft as Donner, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Freia, Richard Croft as Loge, Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Hans-Peter Konig as Fafner.
A scene from the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Wagner’s ‘Das Rheingold’ with Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Franz-Josef Selig as Fasolt, Dwayne Croft as Donner, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Freia, Richard Croft as Loge, Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Hans-Peter Konig as Fafner.
12:23PM
October
12, 2010

If you attended the live HD transmission of the Metropolitan Opera’s new Das Rheingold, you might have experienced a rather different opera than did the critics from their seats in the Metropolitan Opera House. I thought it might add texture to the discussion about Robert Lepage’s high-tech baby to chime in with my own thoughts.

The Ring and The Controversy in Los Angeles

John Treleaven (Siegfried), Linda Watson (Brunnhilde)
Siegfried in LA- Maybe a bit dark?
11:38AM
May 27, 2010

The opera blogs and list-servs have been ranting on overtime for the past two weeks following the backstage drama in Los Angeles’ new production of Wagner’s Ring des Nibulengen.

Hans von Bulow, a Giant in 19th Century Music

Hans von Bulow
Hans von Bulow
2:05PM
April 21, 2010

Hans von Bulow was a giant in 19th century music, and his career and legacy deserve to be better known. Alan Walker’s new book, Hans von Bulow, A Life and Times, goes a long way toward restoring its subject to prominence.

Edward Downes at Bayreuth

Book cover for Winifred Wagner: A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth. Brigitte Hamann (Author), Alan Bance (Translator)
Winifred Wagner: A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth. Brigitte Hamann (Author), Alan Bance (Translator)
2:08PM
July 17, 2009

Here are more of the memoirs of musicologist and broadcaster Edward Downes (1911-2001) from taped interviews he gave in New York in 1995.

Edward Downes and Sir Edward Downes

Rosa Ponselle in a promotional photograph for NBC Radio - 1936.
"I suppose the earliest memory I have of the Metropolitan in New York was Rosa Ponselle singing in the 1927 revival of Norma."
11:40AM
July 15, 2009

Edward Downes (Not the “Sir” Edward Downes) spent three years in the late 1930s as Music Critic of the Boston Evening Transcript.

Waiting and Waiting For Wagner

Festspielhaus Bayreuth, circa 1900
Expect a seven-year wait to get in to the Festspielhaus Bayreuth to hear some Wagner performed.
5:52PM
July
10, 2009

The Wagner Festival gets under way in July in Bayreuth, but if you want tickets, expect to wait for 7-10 years(!).