Wagner Operas Podcasts



The Official Podcast Page of www.wagneroperas.com


  • An Afternoon Walküre at the MET

    An Afternoon Walküre at the MET

    02/04/2019 Duración: 28min

      The Metropolitan Opera is currently presenting Wagner's Ring, and the return of the Robert Lapage controversial production. Last Saturday I attended a performance of Die Walküre, and the mechanical problems that plagued this staging during the first season now seem to be gone.

  • The Bayreuth Festival 2018

    The Bayreuth Festival 2018

    30/07/2018 Duración: 35min

    It’s that time of the year, when that midsummer classic the Bayreuth Festival begins once again. I will be attending this yearly ritual, and ahead of me will be performances of The Flying Dutchman, Parsifal, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and the new production of Lohengrin, directed by the first American to mount a production at the Green Hill.

  • Herrmann and Wagner

    Herrmann and Wagner

    08/04/2018 Duración: 22min

    In this podcast, we explore the link between the musical score of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo, written by composer Bernard Herrmann, and the music of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The 1959 film, whose themes center on obsession, and the links between love and death, covers similar terrain as Wagner’s opera. As a result, Herrmann’s music at times appears to be a loving homage as well as a tribute to Wagner’s greatest work.

  • Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera - 2018

    Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera - 2018

    18/02/2018 Duración: 30min

    When Parsifal is playing in town at the Metropolitan Opera it is a not-to-be-missed event.  Luckily this year, I get to see it twice.  My first visit was yesterday at the Saturday matinee.  I was joined by my good friends Francis and his wife Julia, as well as my friend Vlad.  Francis and I went to Bayreuth last summer, so he is well-seasoned in the works of Wagner, but this was Julia and Vlad’s first Parsifal. The reaction of my friends to this production, including musical interludes of their favorite moments from this opera, is at the heart of this podcast.  Also watch this New York Times video program detailing how they get a pool of blood on the stage of the MET for Act II of this opera.  

  • Wagners Christmas

    Wagner's Christmas

    17/12/2017 Duración: 25min

    The Christmas season does not usually bring to mind the music of Richard Wagner, but it should, for on Christmas morning, in the year 1870, Cosima, the composer's wife, woke from her slumbers to a new composition written by her husband to celebrate her 25th of December birthday, and played at their house by her friends.  The composition was the Siegfried Idyll, Wagner’s very special Christmas music.

  • Halloween with the Flying Dutchman

    Halloween with the Flying Dutchman

    29/10/2017 Duración: 24min

    The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer) is Richard Wagner’s answer to Halloween.  The story of a ghostly sea captain who is doomed to sail the seven seas for eternity is the perfect opera to enjoy during this spooky festive season. 

  • Bayreuth Summer Artists

    Bayreuth Summer Artists

    01/09/2017 Duración: 40min

    My journey to Bayreuth this summer was filled with so many great performers by a host of very talented singing actors.  Thinking about the month of August and the great performances I saw and heard, I started wondering what some of these same singers would be like in roles other than the ones I saw them in.  And hence this podcast.  You will hear performances by Stephen Gould, Johannes Martin Kränzle, Catherine Foster, and others.

  • A Tribute to Tannhäuser

    A Tribute to Tannhäuser

    24/08/2017 Duración: 52min

    After so many years of doing these podcasts I realized that I had never done a program dedicated exclusively to one of my favorite Wagner operas, Tannhäuser.  So here is an audio show highlighting some of the great moments from this romantic opera from the composer’s middle period.  You will hear tenor Jonas Kaufmann, baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and conductor Christian Thielemann, among others.

  • The Silenced Voices of Bayreuth

    The Silenced Voices of Bayreuth

    21/08/2017 Duración: 25min

    Currently at the Bayreuth Festival there is an exhibit called “Silenced Voices.”  It is a tribute to the many singers, artists, and musicians who, during the Third Reich, were banned from the festival because they were Jewish.  In this podcast I pay tribute to three of these distinguished Wagnerians: the legendary soprano Lilli Lehmann, the dashing baritone Herbert Janssen, and the great bass-baritone Friedrich Schorr, who was the greatest Wotan of his time.

  • Vincent and Francis visit Bayreuth

    Vincent and Francis visit Bayreuth

    18/08/2017 Duración: 33min

    During these uncertain days, when the whole world seems to be enveloped by confusion, war, and hate, Vincent and his guest Francis visit the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth and speak about their admiration for Katharina Wagner’s production of Tristan und Isolde, conducted by the dynamic Bayreuth music director Christian Thielemann.  

  • René Pape at the Festspielhaus

    René Pape at the Festspielhaus

    22/07/2017 Duración: 28min

    It’s been seven years since my last podcast. During that time many wonderful things happened including a visit to Bayreuth in 2012. Now, this summer, I am very lucky to have a chance to go back to the Green Hill. Bass-baritone René Pape will be singing the role of King Marke in Katharina Wagner's production of Tristan und Isolde.  That's something to be excited about!  This podcast features Mr. Pape, as well as the first music I ever heard at the Festspielhaus.

  • Bayreuth 2010: Of Rats and Men and Lohengrin

    Bayreuth 2010: Of Rats and Men and Lohengrin

    08/08/2010 Duración: 01h01min

    No stranger to controversy these days The Bayreuth Festival opened at the end of July with a new production of Lohengrin directed by one of the best-known Regietheater directors, Hans Neuenfels. His tongue-in-cheek take on Richard Wagner's most romantic opera involved setting it in a land overrun by rats. There was laughter at the Festspielhaus and there were loud boos as well.  Ultimately, over the years, the production became one of the most popular at the Green Hill.  I was very lucky to see it in the summer of 2012.  That first summer, though, Jonas Kaufmann played the title role. Soprano Annette Dasch, along with Kaufmann, ignited opening night with their passionate singing.  She stayed with the production throughout its run.

  • Bayreuth 2007: Katharinas Meistersinger

    Bayreuth 2007: Katharina's Meistersinger

    30/07/2007 Duración: 01h04min

    The Bayreuth Festival opened with a much anticipated production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg directed by Katharina Wagner, daughter of Wolfgang Wagner. As the heir apparent to the family business, Katharina's new production shows that the Festival wants to continue breaking with the traditions of the past. For some her new production is bold and innovative, while others have dismissed it as insulting Eurotrash. As you will hear, the boos and cheers mixed during this year's opening night. 

  • Toscanini at Salzburg: The 1936 Meistersinger

    Toscanini at Salzburg: The 1936 Meistersinger

    15/06/2007 Duración: 01h15min

    Arturo Toscanini was the most sought-after conductor in the 1930's. He became the first Italian to conduct at Bayreuth, and would have continued performing there had the Third Reich not come to power in Germany. He left Bayreuth in protest and went to the Salzburg Festival. His complete recording of Die Meistersinger from 1937 is readily available, but the fragment that exists from a 1936 performance, taken from a shortwave radio recording, is very rare. We present this historical document in this podcast. 

  • Richard Wagner: Before the Operas

    Richard Wagner: Before the Operas

    09/03/2007 Duración: 42min

    Richard Wagner composed his Symphony in C Major at the age of nineteen. It is clearly the work of a young man influenced by the towering figure and musical innovations of Ludwig van Beethoven. The symphony was given its premiere during the composer's youth, and then remained dormant for decades until Wagner himself resurrected it, leading the orchestra as a birthday gift for his wife Cosima. This private performance took place at Teatro La Fenice in Venice a few months before the composer's death.  

  • Adrianne Pieczonka  Ben Heppner in Concert

    Adrianne Pieczonka & Ben Heppner in Concert

    10/11/2006 Duración: 26min

    For many opera lovers around the world, Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka became a household word this summer after her critically praised performance as Sieglinde at this year's Bayreuth Festival. In this podcast, recorded from the Ballroom of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, you will hear two of Canada's finest singers together in concert for the first time. Superstar heldentenor Ben Heppner joins Ms. Pieczonka to perform Richard Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder, as well as arias from Die Walküre.

  • In Memoriam: Astrid Varnay (1918-2006)

    In Memoriam: Astrid Varnay (1918-2006)

    18/09/2006 Duración: 33min

    On September of this year, soprano Astrid Varnay died in Munich, Germany. She was one of the great Wagnerian sopranos of our times, and one of the artists chosen by Wieland Wagner to re-open the Bayreuth Festival in 1951. Astrid Varnay was one of the most successful sopranos of the 1950's and 60's. In the mid 1970's she came back to the stage in character roles. In this podcast you will hear her in the role of Brünnhilde in the 1955 stereo recording of Siegfried from the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.

  • Bayreuth Festival 2006: Götterdämmerung

    Bayreuth Festival 2006: Götterdämmerung

    16/08/2006 Duración: 01h01min

    This performance of Götterdämmerung brings to a close the new production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival. One of the shining stars of the last evening was Hans-Peter König who, in the role of Hagen, is positively chilling in the third scene of Act II. You will also hear Christian Thielemann conducting the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra in Siegfried's Funeral Music, as well as the thrilling voice of Linda Watson as Brünnhilde in the climactic Immolation Scene which ends the work.

  • Bayreuth Festival 2006: Siegfried

    Bayreuth Festival 2006: Siegfried

    08/08/2006 Duración: 50min

    One of the delights of the past two Bayreuth Festivals was listening to tenor Stephen Gould mesmerize audiences with his impressive performances of Tannhäuser. This summer he is making the crowds at the "Green Hill" go wild once again, this time with his volcanic interpretation of the title role in Siegfried. In this podcast you will hear him sing this role, alongside tenor Gerhard Siegel (Mime), in the Act I Forging Song, and in the final scene of Act III with soprano Linda Watson (Brünnhilde).

  • Bayreuth Festival 2006: Die Walküre

    Bayreuth Festival 2006: Die Walküre

    04/08/2006 Duración: 01h03min

     At this year's Bayreuth Festival, one thing is certain: the new production of the Ring is receiving standing ovations thanks to the vision of director Tankred Dorst, the incredible conducting of Christian Thielemann, who leaves no doubt that he is one of the great Wagnerians of our times, and the amazing singing of Adrianne Pieczonka as Sieglinde. In this presentation of excerpts from Die Walküre you will also hear Endrik Wottrich as Siegmund, Linda Watson as Brünnhilde, and Falk Struckmann as Wotan.

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