Die Walküre

Valery Gergiev
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
23 April 2005
Metropolitan Opera House New York
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
SiegmundPlácido Domingo
HundingStephen Milling
WotanMikhail Kit
SieglindeKatarina Dalayman
BrünnhildeOlga Sergeeva
FrickaLarissa Diadkova
HelmwigeClaudia Waite
GerhildeRebecca Copley
OrtlindeJanet Hopkins
WaltrauteVictoria Livengood
SiegruneJane Bunnell
GrimgerdeJane Gilbert
SchwertleiteEllen Rabiner
RoßweißeMalin Fritz

Saison Russe at the Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera approached the end of the 2004-2005 season on a resonant Russian note. Its revival of Otto Schenk’s legendary nineteen year-old production of Die Walküre saw James Levine yield another work in the Wagner repertoire to his principal guest conductor, the Mariinsky Theater’s artistic director Valery Gergiev, making this the first time since 1983 that someone other than Levine has taken the podium for the work at the Met.

Casting decisions wisely populated the revival with some of the Mariinsky’s better Wagner performers. Mikhail Kit’s sturdy Wotan delivered fine music, even if his voice could not always match the orchestra under Gergiev’s powerful conducting. Olga Sergeeva, by far the best in the Mariinsky’s stable of Brünnhildes, again displayed the radiance that she brought to the role in her home country, despite some understandable fatigue in the third act. The veteran mezzo-soprano Larissa Diadkova demanded much favorable attention in her short appearance as Fricka.

The non-Russian performers by no means neglected their work, yet alas, not flawlessly. Plácido Domingo, now 64, continues his reign as today’s greatest Siegmund, but signs of aging are there to be heard in the role’s prolonged high notes, especially the A at the end of the first act. Katarina Dalayman, a talented and attractive singer, brought much to Sieglinde, but tended toward unevenness in delivering some of the role’s best music. The Danish bass Stephen Milling was a solid and unusually dramatic Hunding. The volume of Gergiev’s conducting, despite the challenges it brings even to his own singers, follows the slow tempi identified with Levine and colors almost every note with meaning and power.

PDQ | Met 16 April 2005

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Media Type/Label
Technical Specifications
224 kbit/s CBR, 44.1 kHz, 352 MByte (MP3)
Matinee broadcast
A production by Otto Schenk (1986)