Magazine article Opera Canada

Lohengrin

Magazine article Opera Canada

Lohengrin

Article excerpt

Wagner

MET OPERA: 81135- 70134 It's a sad coincidence that Metropolitan Opera Music Director James Fevine has been sidelined by back injuries until at least the 2013/14 season while celebrations of his 40 seasons at the Met are still unfolding. Part of that celebration involved the release of celebratory multi-set DVD and CD collections of Fevine performances, and these are now being broken down into individual releases. This nice 4-CD set is of a March 28, 1998 performance of Wagner's grand Romantic opera, with Ben Heppner in fine vocal fettle in the title role. He was one of a distinguished cast in the controversial Robert Wilson production that had premiered just a couple of weeks earlier. Deborah Voigt is a rich, shimmering, securely voiced Elsa, while Deborah Voigt is commanding, if at times blustery, as Ortrud. Hans-Joachim Ke-telsen's Telramund is undistinguished in timbre, but his Act II plotting with Ortrud is very effective nonetheless. Eric Halfvarson is a big, dark-voiced Heinrich, and Eike Wilm Schulte makes the most of his declamations as the King's Herald. The chorus, too, so important in this opera, sings very well.

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I am not a great fan of James Levine's conducting of Wagner's later operas, his long-breathed, almost reverential approach diluting too much of the drama. …

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