Tuesday, 2 September 2008

René Pape: Wotan

Below, René Pape from Sunday´s concert in Lübeck singing Wotan´s Farewell (Abschied und Feuerzauber) from Walküre. In brief: This is simply the way this music was meant to be sung. I´ve just never heard anyone do it before.


René Pape with Wotan´s Farewell accompanied by the NDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Alan Gilbert:




In a German Radio interview yesterday René Pape confirmed he will sing Wotan in Berlin with Daniel Barenboim in 2010.

He was very vague about everything else, especially about Bayreuth, saying that "in principle he would not mind to return", but "there was nothing concrete on the table" and he was booked more that 5 years in advance for the major Wagnerian roles, however "everything depends on the new management" and "if he got the right offer with the right conductor and director he would probably accept" but "unfortunately the quality of recent years performances in Bayreuth has not been able to match that of the Berlin State Opera or the Metropolitan Opera". In short: A politically correct answer.

René Pape obviously cannot sing Wotan everywhere in 2013, and his first priorities will no doubt be with Barenboim in Berlin/La Scala and with the Metropolitan Opera. And he is completely right about the quality of recent Bayreuth performances. I see no reason why he would want to return there.

But it should first priority for the Bayreuth Festival management to get him there... together with a first-rate Ring conductor, which is the key factor.

Clips posted by
Parsifal, on YouTube.

10 comments:

Tisorn said...

one word...SUPERB!!

Carlos said...

Two words... BEYOND SUPERB!!!

richard said...

See you all in Berlin in 2010 - but first Parsifal in March 09

marcillac said...

What they said - some reservations about you ultimate conclusion. One is reluctant to indulge in almost Beckmessrian nitpicking but....(All comments refer only to live performances).

In terms of beauty of tone and technical accomplishment I am inclined to give him an edge over Morris in his prime. That was heard multiple times at the end of the full opera and while I don't doubt that Pape will be quite astonishing in that context I'll withhold a definative preference for now.
Based only on YouTube samples I have to give him a sizable advantage over Terfel. No one else is even close to being in the conversation.

Dramatically this is still very much a work in progress. Really very difficult to form an opinion and we can be certain that his interpretation will develop over the years. I think even you'd have to concede that he is not quite as in command dramatically as he is in "Ella Giammai M'amo. With due consideration of the concert setting I can't help noting that he was also much more authoritative in Boris' Monologue which I have heard only in comprable circumstance (except live).


Again this is really nitpicky and I can only hope that we all get the chance to continue picking such nits over a couple dozen performances over the next 10 to 20 years.

mostly opera... said...

marcillac - I don´t necessarily disagree with you - I´ll address all these points in the review of the live performance that I will post, once I get rid of the virus attack on my computer.

What do you mean by "comparable circumstances of the Boris monologue (except live)"? Is that a recording of the Gergiev NYC-conducted performance from earlier this year or...

marcillac said...

I heard the Boris at live at Carnegie Hall whereas I've only heard the Wotan in the YouTube clip you helpfully posted.

Mark said...

I really don't know where I am, but this music is incredible. I have heard it live, but this is unreal.

Joshua A. said...

I've followed Rene for almost two decades and have seen him in all his Wagner roles. This could be the role of his lifetime. He should be ready by now to meet the high expectations. I will be at Scala on May, 13.

mostly opera... said...

Joshua - you are most welcome to post your impressions of the Rheingold premiere here - either as a comment or a post, if you prefer. I, and many readers, will be most curious about this performance.

mostly opera... said...
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