Götterdämmerung

Johannes Debus
Canadian Opera Company Chorus and Orchestra
Date/Location
17 February 2017
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Toronto
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
Cast
SiegfriedAndreas Schager
BrünnhildeChristine Goerke
GuntherMartin Gantner
GutruneIleana Montalbetti
AlberichRobert Pomakov
HagenAin Anger
WaltrauteKaren Cargill
WoglindeDanika Lorèn
WellgundeLauren Eberwein
FloßhildeLindsay Ammann
1. NornLindsay Ammann
2. NornKaren Cargill
3. NornIleana Montalbetti
Gallery
Reviews
The Globe and Mail

Christine Goerke stuns in COC’s powerful Goetterdaemmerung

There’s an inexorable trajectory in the four operas of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, the fourth of which, Goetterdaemmerung, opened on Thursday at the Canadian Opera Company’s Four Seasons Centre. As the operas progress, the focus of attention moves in a steady downward arc from the immortals in Valhalla to mankind on Earth. Das Rheingold, the first of the group, is taken up almost completely with gods and giants and Rhine maidens and dwarves – a mythological cornucopia not unlike The Lord of the Rings.

But by the time we get to Goetterdaemmerung, the gods are almost completely absent. It is men and women who animate the story – one of greed and lust for power and corruption and death. But it was precisely this emphasis on the human that made the COC production of Goetterdaemmerung so powerful and stunning. For once, Wagner was not larger than life – he was scaled down to an earthly, human size. And if you are used to your Wagner being gargantuan and epic, you’ll realize how unusual (and welcome) that is.

The key to the human integrity of the COC production was the superb, intensely real, stunning performance of Christine Goerke as Bruennhilde, the Valkyrie turned mortal who is at the centre of the opera. Goerke is being hailed as the Bruennhilde of her generation, and she earns the title by investing herself as a performer into every note that Bruennhilde sings, every nuance of feeling that her character experiences. It’s not just that Goerke can handle the overwhelming vocal demands of the role. She can – her powerful, soaring soprano has a smoky, gutsy lower register that colours everything she sings, from belt-it-out-over-100-musicians power to the softest pianissimo imaginable. Goerke sings Bruennhilde as though she understands, and insists on understanding, every emotion her character feels – from wild love to the fear of unwanted seduction to the pain of betrayal to the hot desire for revenge to ultimate resignation. And somehow, Goerke does all of this while making the semi-mythological and often stultified heroine into the most modern woman imaginable. It’s as though this Bruennhilde stepped out of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad.

Goerke’s psychological and musical realism for her character was aided and reinforced by director Tim Albery’s ultramodern setting for the opera. His Goetterdaemmerung is set more or less in the present day. The male characters wear business suits and lounge in an office with an enormous couch, facing computer screens. The entire set design is stark and utilitarian, with remarkably effective lighting constantly highlighting the human drama of the piece. While the modern setting can have its drawbacks (Goerke starts the opera in a dressing gown that made her look like a Housewife of Bayreuth), the pluses of the staging far outweigh the negative. Wagner can affect us in many ways – he can overwhelm, he can set us up for the transcendent, he can push us over the brink into pure bliss. Seldom does he draw us in to the humanity of his characters and it’s a tribute to this production that it approaches the drama of the piece from this perspective, and so successfully at that.

Goerke’s Bruennhilde is matched by many other characterizations in this production. Ain Anger made his Hagen, the Iago of the piece, into a subtly malevolent manipulator, always fascinating, always unpredictable. Karen Cargill was an appealing Waltraute, a fellow Valkyrie begging Bruennhilde to get rid of the damn ring that causes so many of the problems throughout the cycle. Martin Gantner made a suitably vain, and then suitably tortured Gunther, a man manipulated by Hagen (his half-brother) so that Hagen can win the ring for himself. Robert Pomakov made a chilling cameo appearance as Alberich, the guy who stole the gold and fashioned the ring in the first place. I was a bit less taken with Andreas Schager’s Siegfried. Schager has a fine voice and carries the first half of Act 3 almost by himself, but whereas Goerke seemed in perfect control of Bruennhilde and her motivation on every note, Siegfried seemed to elude Schager. Admittedly, Siegfried is under the effect of a potion and doesn’t really know who he is or what he’s doing for most of the opera, but somehow the character still needs to exude some self-understanding to make the tensions in the piece work.

It is a criminal act to save an appreciation of the COC Orchestra and Johannes Debus to the end of this review. The orchestra, of course, is really the main character in any Wagnerian opera, and Debus performed a minor miracle with this four-hour-plus score. He made Wagner sound like Mozart in places, he made Wagner sound like chamber music in places, he coaxed and kneaded the score to reveal a hundred new insights, by downplaying the epic in the piece and letting us hear the actual music in the score. And if you think that’s common, allow me to play you two dozen recordings of Wagner, past and present. Debus provided an intelligent reading of the score from first note to last. Yes, there were the great swelling lines and those moments when Wagner descends into the garish and flirts with the tasteless (what one would give to be able to take a blue editor’s pencil to one of his scores), but Debus kept them under tight control.

In the end, this was a production full of intelligence – in the pit, on stage, in its lighting and direction. And that’s not a word one applies to Wagner very often. Powerful, yes, overwhelming, transcendent – those are the common Wagnerian adjectives. But intelligence was the hallmark of the evening, allowing us to see and hear in Wagner even more complex artistry than normal, a tribute to a fine production.

Robert Harris | February 3, 2017

operagoto.com

A trio of otherworldly weavers labours to bind together the fraying strands of fate. The ruthless leader of a barbarous tribe hungers for world dominion. A mighty sword-wielding superhero is slain by the kinsman of a treacherous dwarf he himself had once slaughtered. A valiant celestial warrior rides her winged charger into the flames of her lover’s raging funeral pyre.

The gods were in the details, so spellbinding, so spectacular that what Wagner initially envisioned as an operatic one-off became, in fact, the concluding chapter in his monumentally episodic saga, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). The implications, the subtext, the backstory all were simply too immense to limit to a single tragic tale.

Reprising its landmark Götterdämmerung first presented in 2006 as part of inaugural Four Seasons Centre celebrations, the Canadian Opera Company bravely reasserts its tenacious hold on Wagner’s towering monument to Romanticism. Mounted by Tim Albery, one of a quartet of original directors each helming their own visionary Ring Cycle installment, this decidedly modest Twilight of the Gods, though somewhat constrained by its downsized design and stagecraft, fairly blazed with artistic passion when premiered. Seen a full decade later, the impression is unchanged. Intimate, frighteningly focused, intensely emotional, Albery’s Götterdämmerung long lingers in memory.

The story, a grim tale of disintegration and rebirth, is graphically told here with startling economy, as unrelenting as it is transformative.

The three Norns, weavers of destiny, muse on the past while braiding the Rope of Fate. Wotan, disillusioned by his failure to command the world of gods and mortals, has made preparations to end his rule. Valhalla shall soon be set afire kindled by the felled branches of the holy World Ash Tree, the once divine source of his now shattered spear. Suddenly the Rope snaps. The Norns fear for the future.

Dawn breaks. Brünnhilde bids a tender farewell to Siegfried. Inflamed by the lure of a new quest, the restless hero entrusts the Ring, a symbol of his devotion, to her safe-keeping.

Many leagues distant in the Gibichungs’ cheerless palace on the banks of the Rhine, Hagen, counsellor to the belligerent band, urges Gunther, his Nibelung half-brother, to marry Brünnhilde, confident Siegfried can be controlled with the aid of an enchanted potion. Gunther’s sister, Gutrune, shall become the mighty hero’s bride. Glory and Siegfried’s trove of fabled Rhine gold shall be theirs. Amid great fanfare and excitement, Siegfried arrives in search of adventure. The trap is sprung. Siegfried is drugged and instantly falls in love with Gutrune. He and Gunther drink a cup of their mingled blood, sealing a ritual oath of loyalty.

Later that night, Brünnhilde is paid a fleeting visit by her Valkyrie sister, Waltraute. The news from Valhalla is troubling. Their father Wotan’s strength continues to wane. Only by surrendering the Ring can Brünnhilde ease the curse that weighs so heavily upon him. Brünnhilde balks. The precious golden band was gifted to her by her even more precious husband-to-be. Waltraute thunders off into the darkness. Siegfried arrives wearing a magic helmet, the Tarnhelm, that has transformed him into Gunther. Snatching the coveted Ring from Brünnhilde’s finger, the metamorphosed Gibichung takes her for his own.

Haunted for long sleepless hours by thoughts of lost Nibelung gold, Hagen welcomes Siegfried’s return and, as planned, Siegfried promptly claims Gutrune for his bride. The entire Gibichung clan is summoned to attend a double wedding. Gunther arrives with Brünnhilde who, spying the Ring on Siegfried’s finger, promptly realizes she has been the victim of a cruel deception. Cursing him, she bitterly informs an ever alert Hagen that the magic she so lovingly bestowed to protect Siegfried from harm can be breached with a well-aimed blow to his back. A seemingly casual hunting party is arranged and as Siegfried and his Gibichung companions pause to refresh themselves, Hagen murders Siegfried, thrusting a spear into his spine. A savage quarrel erupts. Hagen and Gunther viciously dispute one another’s right to claim the Ring as his own. Hagen strangles his sibling in a fit of frustration. Time stops. Gutrune is made to realize the enormity of the evil the Gibichungs have spawned. Brünnhilde orders Siegfried’s body to be placed atop a blazing pyre. Transferring the Ring from his finger to hers, she mounts her flying warhorse and spurs it into the flames. The Rhine bursts its banks. A great flood engulfs the world. Hagen is drowned. The Ring is returned to the Rhinemaidens. Valhalla burns as a new dawn glimmers on the horizon.

Dark, mythic, primal, Götterdämmerung unravels like some deep subcortical dream. But there are more prosaic forces at work here as well. Countless commentators, George Bernard Shaw among them, a man who knew a thing or two about dramatic resonance, have been struck by the overt air of political allegory.

Wagner, rabble-rouser, activist, close friend of Russian-born anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, narrowly escaped arrest in Dresden for actively participating in a nasty, nationalist-inspired uprising as a young man. The brush with repressive state authority left him deeply embittered and alienated. Wagner’s demons are arguably more ferociously on show in Götterdämmerung than virtually anywhere else in his canon.

Siegfried and Brünnhilde, the last earthly representatives of the old godly society, individualism personified, are brought into fatal contact with a newer, harshly regimented order of being, the grubby, business-like world of the grasping Gibichungs. Gemeinschaft vs Gesellschaft — polemics as poetry.

A terrible sense of inevitability permeates Götterdämmerung. Led by an ineffectual weakling with preposterously grandiose plans, manipulated by a Machiavellian monster, The Gibichungs assemble in their throne room, an ominous, fluorescent-lit corporate command post on set designer Michael Levine’s scenic map, hungry, black-suited predators flocking to their own destruction.

Greed and blind ambition have a disturbing way of exceeding even the worst expectations Wagner seems to warn. The corrupted corrupt the corruptible. Humanity loses its humaness.

Appearing in the role of Siegfried, tenor Andreas Schager brings a ringing note of pathos to his depiction of Wagner’s man of action, a once shining hero made redundant in a sour godless age. Deprived of all semblance of reason by a potent Gibichung drug, briefly restored to sanity by a second devious draught, the once invincible champion all but drowns in a breaking wave of bittersweet remembrance. Schager’s inexpressibly poignant treatment of Siegfried’s rambling Act III recit, Dankst du es mir, so sing’ ich dir Mären aus meinen jungen Tagen (“If you would like me to, I will sing you stories of my boyhood days”), streaked with euphoria, veiled with regret, strikes straight at the heart.

Soprano Christine Goerke crafts an intensely empathic Brünnhilde conveyed on a decidedly human scale, a merciful emissary from Valhalla, strong-willed, independent yet disarmingly vulnerable. Goerke owns this repertoire and has proven as much at the Met and on the COC mainstage in Die Walküre and Siegfried in previous seasons. Her presence from curtain to curtain throughout Götterdämmerung is nothing less than triumphant. But it is the small, intimate moments that boost her pivotal on-stage appearances into the realm of electrifying — the quick, choked back gasp when she first sees Siegfried in Gutrune’s arms; the furious, frantic blast of unspoken rage as she tears at her disused Valkyrie robe.

Bass Ain Anger sings a lean, muscular Hagen, taut, honed, deadly as a spear point. It is no simple thing to command an opera stage by virtue of sheer stillness yet that is precisely what Anger so tellingly achieves at the launch of Act II. Hagen’s fevered, dream-like encounter with Alberich, his Nibelung father, powerfully voiced by Robert Pomakov, is nothing less than riveting in Anger’s brilliantly restrained reading.

Baritone Martin Gantner fills the Gibichung hall with stunning wickedness as Gunther. Ensemble Company graduate Aviva Fortunata, covering the role for an ailing Ileana Montalbetti in the performance attended by OperaGoTO, thrilled as the Gibichung’s chieftain’s sister, Gutrune. Alone in the darkness, wrapping the vastness of the Four Seasons Centre around her, the fine, rising lyric soprano gave haunting expression to the tortured visions raging in Gutrune’s mind.

Lindsay Ammann and Karen Cargill are First and Second Norns respectively, Third Norn sung mid-run by Fortunata substituting as previously noted. All are and were spine-tingling.

Danika Lorèn and Lauren Eberwein are slinky Rhinemaidens Woglinde and Wellgunde. Ammann doubles as fellow flouncy river nymph Flosshilde.

Conductor Johannes Debus leads the magnificent 100-plus player Canadian Opera Company Orchestra in a rapturous 4½ hour odyssey through Wagner’s sprawling, infinitely demonstrative score. Instrumental harmonies are plush, chromaticism boldly defined, motifs vivid and brightly patterned. Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, Götterdämmerung’s buoyant orchestral interlude bridging the Prologue and Act I is gorgeously rendered with a particularly acute sense of vibrancy.

The Canadian Opera Company Chorus does spirited, tireless work, as stirring a band of violent thugs as ever graced a mythical Gibichung board room.

To experience great opera is to undertake a quest, a journey to the core of meaning and pure emotion that leaves us, like all successful art forms, inexorably changed. With this heaving, turbulent production, the Canadian Opera Company has mounted a memorable tour de force. Götterdämmerung dazzles.

Ian Ritchie

nowtoronto.com

The Canadian Opera Company’s Götterdämmerung dazzles with its art and humanity

Nobody does the end of a mythic world better than Richard Wagner.

In the final opera of his epic Ring Cycle, Götterdämmerung (The Twilight Of The Gods), Wagner finishes his tale of heroes and gods with glorious music and a story that sets love against power and greed.

The Canadian Opera Company’s first-rate production emphasizes the struggle to be human in a contemporary corporate setting where lust for supremacy has killed all vestiges of the natural world: power lines, computer screens and boardroom bargaining fill the stage in Michael Levine’s impressive design, lit by David Finn.

At its centre are lovers Siegfried (Andreas Schager) and Brünnhilde (Christine Goerke), their relationship torn apart when the hero drinks a magical potion that makes him forget Brünnhilde. It’s served by the villainous Hagen (Ain Anger), who plots to get from Siegfried the cursed ring of power forged from the gold stolen by Hagen’s father, the conniving dwarf Alberich (Robert Pomakov), from the Rhinemaidens in the cycle’s first opera.

Hagen enlists the aid of his half siblings, the royals Gunther (Martin Gantner) and Gutrune (Ileana Montalbetti), promising Gunther that Brunnhilde will be his bride and that Gutrune will wed Siegfried.

Clocking in at over five hours, Götterdämmerung’s not a short evening, but in the hands of director Tim Albery and conductor Johannes Debus, who brings out the score’s majesty, warmth and passion, the show never drags, despite a first act that has a fair amount of exposition before it explodes into action, oaths, curses, violence, revenge, murder and, finally, a possible new world order.

The impressive cast – Goerke’s heartfelt Brünnhilde, Schager’s proud, confident Siegfried, Anger’s cold, dark-voiced Hagen, Gantner’s weak-willed Gunther and Montalbetti’s naive Gutrune – rides the big orchestral sound, creating believable characters who go beyond archetypes. There’s not a weak link in the cast, which includes Karen Cargill as Brunnhilde’s Valkyrie sister, Waltraute, and Lindsay Ammann, Danika Lorèn and Lauren Eberwein as Norns and Rhinemaidens.

Albery stages some striking moments, among them the domestic scene between Brünnhilde and Waltraute, the Rhinemaidens’ attempted, sometimes comic, seduction of Siegfried, and the hero’s death, which shockingly brings back the Forest Bird from cycle’s third opera. This society, the director emphasizes, is one in which women are especially vulnerable: the image of the insecure, shaken and abandoned Brünnhilde encircled by spear-carrying businessmen/warriors resonates as the production’s most vivid.

The final scene brings together elements of the start of the cycle – the return of the ring that inspired so much lust and destruction, as well of pieces of Valhalla, the majestic hall built and ruled by the god Wotan and now about to be burned – as music and action suggest a quieting of the previous turmoil, a sense of new possibilities and a new humanity that might survive without gods and heroes.

Götterdämmerung is magnificent music drama, superbly played, sung and acted.

Jon Kaplan | February 7, 2017

Opera News

2017 MARKED the third time Canadian Opera Company has mounted Tim Albery’s production of Götterdämmerung. (It was previously seen as a stand-alone production in early 2006, then as part of Canada’s first-ever Ring cycle later that year.) Michael Levine’s insightful modern-dress design, with its emphasis on the key symbols of the work, remains impressive. The clarity of Albery’s storytelling and his ability to draw finely nuanced acting from the entire cast made the opera dramatically gripping from start to finish. Above all, the current remount (seen Feb. 8) had the finest cast one could hope for, with Christine Goerke absolutely magnificent as Brünnhilde.

Levine imagined the world of this opera, in contrast to Siegfried, as cold and hard. A dark gray dominated every scene of this morally compromised landscape, with accents of black and white. But Levine inserted a significant object in red into every scene—the rope that the Norns weave; the red lights signifying the flames around Brünnhilde’s mountain; the forty red desk-chairs that represent Hagen’s power; the bloodstain on Siegfried’s T-shirt from his stab wound; the glowing red light that suffuses the chorus witnessing the destruction of Valhalla.

For those who have seen her trace Brünnhilde’s journey from Die Walküre and Siegfried to this opera, there can be no doubt that Christine Goerke is the greatest Brünnhilde of our time. Vocally, she was a marvel. Her full soprano never lost its warmth, even on the highest notes, and she sang Wagner’s huge leaps and extended notes effortlessly and with seemingly unlimited lung power. Goerke is also able to color and shade her tone to convey the meaning of every word. She is a consummate actress, using subtle changes in posture, gesture and facial expression to communicate the huge dramatic arc Brünnhilde traverses from joy, through doubt, fear and outrage, to the enlightened calm of the immolation scene. Never have I seen a singer portray so completely Brünnhilde’s transfiguration by wisdom. In the final scene, Goerke seemed to portray Brünnhilde’s soul rather than her corporeal self. This was one of the most awe-inspiring performances in opera I have ever seen.

Andreas Schager’s Siegfried was a complete contrast. He sang with his whole body, rather like a top-level decathlete encountering trial after trial and succeeding at them all. Schager has the muscular tone of many heldentenors, but his voice opened up marvelously the higher he sang, and he could shade his tone, as in the Tarnhelm scene, or make it purer and more youthful, as in Siegfried’s scene of recovered memory just before his death. Schager’s hearty physicality worked well to embody Siegfried’s innocence and vitality.

As Hagen, Ain Anger displayed a voice as dark and as hard as flint; vocally and dramatically, he dominated all the scenes set among the Gibichungs. Martin Gantner was excellent at twisting his powerful voice to reflect the cowardliness of Gunther. Aviva Fortunata, standing in for an indisposed Ileana Montalbetti, made a fine Gutrune and commanded the stage in the scene in which Gutrune anxiously awaits Siegfried’s return. Karen Cargill stood out as a full-voiced Waltraute, carefully increasing the valkyrie’s anxiety in her narrative about dire events unfolding at Valhalla. As Alberich, Robert Pomakov, whose bass seems to grow more powerful each year, ably stood up to Anger’s Hagen.

One would never know this was the first-ever Götterdämmerung for COC music director Johannes Debus; his complete command of the architecture of the score meant that interludes that often delay the action—such as Siegfried’s Rhine Journey; Waltraute’s narrative; Alberich’s chiding of Hagen; the Rhinemaidens’ tempting of Siegfried; and Siegfried’s funeral march—instead urgently moved the opera forward to its inevitable conclusion. The precision and unanimity of the orchestral playing were impeccable, the structural clarity, beauty and power of its sound sublime.

Albery’s direction of the ending was stunning in its simplicity. Brünnhilde and the Rhinemaidens danced together, all four holding the ring on high, until Brünnhilde slipped away into the darkness. Hagen rushed for the ring but was frozen in this position and mimed spiraling downward to his death. The chorus filled the stage, gazing outward as the red light of Valhalla burning flooded their faces. When the light faded, they slowly turned away to face the cyclorama, where a new dawn—the first-ever dawn without the gods—glimmered on the horizon.

Christopher Hoile | May 2017 — Vol. 81, No. 11

Toronto Star

Gotterdammerung still speaks to the human condition

To get the most from Gotterdammerung, the final and longest instalment of Richard Wagner’s apocalyptic and enigmatic Ring Cycle, accept that you are entering an alternative reality, almost an alternative universe, where epic emotion and magic reign, and seeming incongruities must be willingly accepted.

It is more than worth the effort. As much as scholars may debate the Ring’s ultimate meaning, director Tim Albery’s reading of both music and text in the current revival of his 2006 production for the Canadian Opera Company makes clear that the myths and legends that Wagner distilled into his masterwork, 140 years after its premiere, still speak directly to the human condition.

Greed, envy, lust for power and disdain for the harmonies of nature remain an existential threat. The twilight of Wagner’s gods could also be our own.

The plot, by Wagner standards, is fairly straightforward. There’s enough built-in exposition of what’s gone before that you’re at no particular disadvantage if this is your first plunge into Wagner’s Rhine with its maidens, dwarfs, giants and forces of good, evil and everything in between, all intent on possessing its gold.

Valhalla is already falling apart by the time Siegfried arrives among the Gibichungs, here presented as a modern corporate empire intent on world domination. Their stratagems and Siegfried’s unwitting complicity are what, over five and a half hours, lead us to the end of existence and, perhaps, the chance of a fresh beginning; though don’t hold your breath on that count.

To make such mighty themes plausible and compelling is a daunting task, admirably accomplished in this spare, taut, dramatically sharp production; although, of course, beyond decoration and directorial slant, it’s the music and singing that must do the heavy lifting.

There were moments when voices — and overall it’s a fine cast — seemed overwhelmed by the great waves of Wagner’s richly textured, emotionally potent score. Yet, for the most part, under the disciplined guidance of COC music director Johannes Debus’ baton, a satisfying balance was achieved.

And, when the stage action halted to allow for a scene change, as following Siegfried’s death, Debus let the orchestra gloriously take full flight. Meanwhile, amidst the almost brutalist austerity of designer Michael Levine’s set, there were moments of goose-bump-inducing vocal splendour.

Brunnhilde, more perhaps than Siegfried, is the dramatic and emotional linchpin of Gotterdammerung, indeed of the Ring Cycle itself, and for American soprano Christine Goerke Thursday night’s opening was a personal triumph, the culmination of her trilogy of Brunnhilde appearances with the COC.

Her voice is supple, well supported through its entire range and infused with a spectrum of emotions that in this case carries Goerke’s character from the heights of romantic ecstasy to nihilistic despair. Yet she never let those emotions get out of hand or become a substitute for magnificent singing. The drama was all in the voice.

Siegfried, from the perspective of audience sympathy, is at a disadvantage. He’s the noble hero who, in the opera that bears his name, has braved the ring of fire within which Wotan has condemned the disobedient Brunnhilde to pass her days. Yet here in Gotterdammerung the bravery, innocence and purity of spirit that make Siegfried otherwise appealing are thoroughly compromised by his sheer, blind stupidity in falling into the traps set for him by the scheming amoral Gibichungs.

Austrian tenor Andreas Schager, in a welcome COC debut, embraces this contradiction with an almost puppyish Siegfried characterization that is at once endearing and heartbreaking. His voice can soar with appropriately heroic tenor incisiveness but possesses a silvery, lyrical quality that, as in Siegfried’s discourse with Brunnhilde during the prelude or in the character’s final moments, serves him well.

In contrast, Hagen, the Gibichung henchman, is almost a stock villain whose blood, as the character admits, runs cold in his veins. It is a huge credit to Estonian bass Ain Anger — another COC debut — that he imbued Hagen with a measure of complexity verging on the psychopathic.

And the voice! So rich, so strong and so chillingly calibrated to send shivers down the spine. And if one gesture aptly symbolized the collapse at the heart of the Ring’s moral dysfunction it was the way Anger crumpled like a deflated balloon after his final, futile attempt to grasp the cursed ring.

Michael Crabb | Feb. 3, 2017

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Remarks
In-house recording
A production by Tim Albery (2017)