dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Siegfried review at the Royal Opera House, London – ‘thrilling and tireless singing’

Stefan Vinke in Siegfried at the Royal Opera House, London. Photo: Bill Cooper
by -

In the third part of Wagner’s Ring, which concentrates on the adventures of young Siegfried, there remain production elements that puzzle in the Royal Opera’s revival of Keith Warner’s 2004/5 staging. The large crashed plane that dominates Act I turns out to be part of Wotan’s war weaponry. Referred to as the Wanderer in his final appearance in the tetralogy, the god himself still thrusts his spear through Erda at their end of the colloquy in Act III because, according to the director, ‘she has annoyed him terribly’.

Mainly stemming from the late Stefanos Lazaridis’ designs, other blemishes mystify rather than elucidating a complex drama that Warner knows as well as anyone around. Extremely helpful here and throughout are Stewart Spencer’s clear and informative surtitles.

Where this final revival of the staging scores exceptionally highly is in the thrilling and tireless singing of both Stefan Vinke’s Siegfried and Nina Stemme’s Brunnhilde.

Vinke is highly experienced and has sung the role here before, but he sounds transformed: his bright and vigorous tenor now seemingly knows no limits, and he remains just as focused and powerful in the final scene – when he’s joined by Stemme, on equally indefatigable form – for an unforgettable display of Wagnerian vocalism.

Earlier, John Lundgren maintains a dignified presence as the Wanderer, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Gerhard Siegel’s Mime is skilful without quite pulling off the trick of gaining the audience’s sympathy as he revolts them with his duplicity. Johannes Martin Kranzle’s Alberich, Brindley Sherratt’s Fafner and Wiebke Lehmkuhl’s Erda all maintain their previous quality.

Antonio Pappano and the Royal Opera House orchestra form the bedrock of a performance in which momentum is constant, the standard of playing impeccable, and the quality of tone outstanding.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Stefan Vinke surpasses himself with his tireless singing as the young Siegfried
^