Sunday, August 12, 2007

ACD & Runnicles

A.C. Douglas caught the Proms Götterdämmerung and reports that Donald Runnicles made an encouraging showing.

Having heard Runnicles conduct the Ring, Lohengrin, Flying Dutchman (twice), and, most magnificently, Tristan und Isolde (also twice), I'm happy to confirm that he's the real thing in Wagner. Last year's Tristan was beautiful beyond my ability to describe it, though ACD might not have liked the astonishing orchestral transparency, in which you could hear every line and instrument, if you listened, and it all added up to a magnificent whole.

He's less than perfectly happy with the singing. I note with a snicker that the last time I heard Katherine Broderick, who sang Woglinde, she was taking on the Walkuere Bruennhilde at ENO. I can't quite regard this as the sort of luxury casting Solti enjoyed, with the likes of Lucia Popp and Gwyneth Jones as his Rheinmaidens.

However, Christine Brewer is a marvelous singer, with a big, gorgeous voice and stamina to spare. I'm looking forward to hearing her in the Ring, sooner or later.

Update: That big strikeout is because I saw Kathleen, not Katherine, Broderick at ENO. Thanks to AlisonC, who pointed this out to me in comments.


AlisonC said...

I think that was KATHLEEN Broderick at the ENO whereas at the proms it was KATHERINE Broderick. An easy mistake to make, until you've seen them both.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, dammit, you are exactly right. Clearly one of them needs a new first name.