The Official Podcast Page of www.wagneroperas.com
An Afternoon Walküre at the MET
28:44The Metropolitan Opera is currently presenting Wagner's Ring, and the return of the Robert Lapage controversial production. Last Saturday I attended a performance of Die Walküre, and the mechanical problems that plagued this staging during the first season now seem to be gone.
The Bayreuth Festival 2018
35:13It’s that time of the year, when that midsummer classic the Bayreuth Festival begins once again. I will be attending this yearly ritual, and ahead of me will be performances of The Flying Dutchman, Parsifal, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and the new production of Lohengrin, directed by the first American to mount a production at the Green Hill.
Herrmann and Wagner
22:19In this podcast, we explore the link between the musical score of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo, written by composer Bernard Herrmann, and the music of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The 1959 film, whose themes center on obsession, and the links between love and death, covers similar terrain as Wagner’s opera. As a result, Herrmann’s music at times appears to be a loving homage as well as a tribute to Wagner’s greatest work.
Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera - 2018
30:20When Parsifal is playing in town at the Metropolitan Opera it is a not-to-be-missed event. Luckily this year, I get to see it twice. My first visit was yesterday at the Saturday matinee. I was joined by my good friends Francis and his wife Julia, as well as my friend Vlad. Francis and I went to Bayreuth last summer, so he is well-seasoned in the works of Wagner, but this was Julia and Vlad’s first Parsifal. The reaction of my friends to this production, including musical interludes of their favorite moments from this opera, is at the heart of this podcast. Also watch this New York Times video program detailing how they get a pool of blood on the stage of the MET for Act II of this opera.
25:40The Christmas season does not usually bring to mind the music of Richard Wagner, but it should, for on Christmas morning, in the year 1870, Cosima, the composer's wife, woke from her slumbers to a new composition written by her husband to celebrate her 25th of December birthday, and played at their house by her friends. The composition was the Siegfried Idyll, Wagner’s very special Christmas music.
Bayreuth Summer Artists
40:34My journey to Bayreuth this summer was filled with so many great performers by a host of very talented singing actors. Thinking about the month of August and the great performances I saw and heard, I started wondering what some of these same singers would be like in roles other than the ones I saw them in. And hence this podcast. You will hear performances by Stephen Gould, Johannes Martin Kränzle, Catherine Foster, and others.
A Tribute to Tannhäuser
52:34After so many years of doing these podcasts I realized that I had never done a program dedicated exclusively to one of my favorite Wagner operas, Tannhäuser. So here is an audio show highlighting some of the great moments from this romantic opera from the composer’s middle period. You will hear tenor Jonas Kaufmann, baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and conductor Christian Thielemann, among others.
The Silenced Voices of Bayreuth
25:41Currently at the Bayreuth Festival there is an exhibit called “Silenced Voices.” It is a tribute to the many singers, artists, and musicians who, during the Third Reich, were banned from the festival because they were Jewish. In this podcast I pay tribute to three of these distinguished Wagnerians: the legendary soprano Lilli Lehmann, the dashing baritone Herbert Janssen, and the great bass-baritone Friedrich Schorr, who was the greatest Wotan of his time.
Vincent and Francis visit Bayreuth
33:19During these uncertain days, when the whole world seems to be enveloped by confusion, war, and hate, Vincent and his guest Francis visit the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth and speak about their admiration for Katharina Wagner’s production of Tristan und Isolde, conducted by the dynamic Bayreuth music director Christian Thielemann.