Programme guide

When the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Simon Rattle, performed Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence in the summer of 2007, they had not played the work for four decades. “You do not know what an orchestra is until you have heard the Berliner Philharmoniker,” Le Monde wrote. “The brass astounded with their penetrating power and precision, strings and woodwinds left us speechless.” Luckily, it was not necessary to wait such a long time for the work to be performed by the orchestra again. In a concert performance conducted by Simon Rattle, Die Walküre was once again to be heard at the Philharmonie in 2012.

Some of the singers from the Aix production also reprise their roles here, including Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde. The critic of Libération wrote at that time, she was “in Olympic form: noble and powerful, with flexible, radiant top notes, a glorious low register and ideal characterisation.” Appearing with her is Evelyn Herlitzius as Brünnhilde, one of the most renowned Wagnerian singers of our time who has performed the role several times at the Bayreuth Festival. Among the male performers, however, there are some new discoveries to the world of Wagner. In the role of Siegmund is Christian Elsner, who first sang this role at the Semperoper in Dresden in April 2010; he was described as the “perfect interpreter” (Der Tagesspiegel) of the title role in a performance of Parsifal in Berlin. As Wotan, we hear Terje Stensvold who, after more than 25 years at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, became much in demand all over the world, including appearances at the Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milan. In the course of this great development in his career, he turned increasingly to the work of Wagner and was soon considered one of the leading interpreters of Wotan.

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