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Wagner: Parsifal (The Royal Opera)

Wagner: Parsifal (The Royal Opera)

Simon O'Neill (Parsifal); Angela Denoke (Kundry / Voice from Above); René Pape (Gurnemanz); Gerald Finley (Amfortas); Robert Lloyd (Titurel); Willard W. White (Klingsor); David Burr Philip (First Knight of the Grail); Charbel Mattar (Second Knight of the Grail); Dušica Bijeli (First Esquire); Rachel Kelly (Second Esquire); Sipho Fubesi (Third Esquire); Luis Gomes (Fourth Esquire);

"... instead of ignoring or sidestepping the more unsavoury aspects of the libretto, Langridge does attempt to tackle many of them, sometimes in lurid detail, so that the disjunction between them and Wagner's sublime music is often disturbingly clear. There's no doubt of that sublimity in this performance either. Antonio Pappano's approach is both diaphanous and radiant, wrapping the vocal lines in veils of string tone and investing the brass statements with unshakeable authority... Vocally the standard is set by René Pape's immaculate, intense Gurnemanz, who makes every syllable in his narrations matter; O'Neill's shambling Parsifal, his tone slightly raw-edged, is perfectly suited to the production, while Finley manages to bring a dimension of nobility to Amfortas's sufferings, and Angela Denoke's tirelessly sung Kundry is the perfect mixture of the chilly and the unattainably seductive. Every one of them is a fully rounded, fully imagined character, and part of a totally involving, if sometimes problematic unity." (The Guardian)

Wagner: Rienzi (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse)

Wagner: Rienzi (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse)

Torsten Kerl (Rienzi); Marika Schönberg (Irene); Daniela Sindram (Adriano); Richard Wiegold (Colonna); Stefan Heidemann (Orsini); Robert Bork (Cardinal Orvieto ); Marc Heller (Baroncelli );

"[Steinberg's] reading of Rienzi, too, was full of energy and vitality, well suited to what this music needs. He got a great performance from the Capitole’s orchestra, which is the best in some 400 miles around. The Choirs were also excellent in a very demanding opera for them. [Torsten Kerl] was excellent all along and it can be considered a luxury to have him as Rienzi in Toulouse." (Seen and Heard International)

Wagner: Tannhäuser (Bayreuth Festival)

Wagner: Tannhäuser (Bayreuth Festival)

Torsten Kerl (Tannhäuser); Kwangchul Youn (Landgraf Hermann); Markus Eiche (Wolfram von Eschenbach); Lothar Odinius (Walther von der Vogelweide); Thomas Jesatko (Biterolf); Stefan Heibach (Heinrich der Schreiber); Rainer Zaun (Reinmar von Zweter); Camilla Nylund (Elisabeth, Nichte des Landgrafen);

"Camilla Nylund’s Elisabeth and Kwangchul Youn’s Landgraf deservedly received the most applause at the curtain calls" (Bachtrack)

Wagner: The Bayreuth Edition (Box Set)

Wagner: The Bayreuth Edition (Box Set)

Kwangchul Youn (Hermann (Tannhäuser)); Torsten Kerl (Tannhäuser (Tannhäuser)); Georg Zeppenfeld (König Heinrich (Lohengrin)); Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin (Lohengrin); Walther von Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)); Annette Dasch (Elsa of Brabant (Lohengrin)); Johan Botha (Siegmund (Die Walküre)); Albert Dohmen (Wotan (Die Walküre)); Edith Haller (Sieglinde (Die Walküre)); Linda Watson (Brünnhilde (Die Walküre)); Robert Dean Smith (Tristan (Tristan und Isolde)); Iréne Theorin (Isolde (Tristan und Isolde)); Franz Hawlata (Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg));

"Thielemann and the Bayreuth Orchestra create a ravishing wall of sound and not a moment is less that aurally stunning: one listens, agape." (International Record Review - Die Walküre)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Bayreuth Festival)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Bayreuth Festival)

Robert Dean Smith (Tristan); Iréne Theorin (Isolde);

"Peter Schneider conducted with real feeling for the score and the prelude to the first act stole upon the ear with the magic of Bayreuth’s amazing acoustics. Robert Dean Smith is now a fine Tristan with a really beautiful voice...Robert Holl made a moving King Marke, his magnificent bass nobly used. Some of the most beautiful singing came from Clemens Bieber’s Young Seaman at the beginning." (The Stage)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Glyndebourne)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Glyndebourne)

Nina Stemme (Isolde); Robert Gambill (Tristan); Katarina Karnéus (Brangäne); Bo Skovhus (Kurwenal); René Papa (King Marke); Stephen Gadd (Melot);

"I don’t think that I have ever witnessed a more perfectrealisation of a Wagner opera than this superb Tristanund Isolde...[Ji?í B?lohlávek] is scrupulous with the score, and takes his time over it: the pauses and silences are immense and there is no factitious attempt to whip up excitement by speeding...a great and unforgettableoccasion." (The Daily Telegraph)