What you missed
- The first time Wagner’s Das Rheingold is staged in Montreal is a success. As a whole, this is Opéra de Montréal’s best production in the last two and a half years, riveting from beginning to the end.
- The production from Minnesota Opera worked quite well, mixing multimedia projections with placement of the orchestra on stage, an elevated bridge for the gods and using the pit for the Rhein and the underworld.
- The singing was excellent with some reservation. Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg’s commanding portrayal of Alberich along with an imposing voice is worth the price of admission alone. Atelier lyrique graduate mezzo Aidan Fergerson returns as Fricka and has matured to a clear and warm tone. Other vocal standouts include the Rheinmaidens of Andrea Nunez and Carolyn Sproule, David Cangelosi’s Mime, Gregory Dahl’s Donner and Soloman Howard’s Fafner.
- OK: Caroline Bleau, Steeve Michaud despite two cracked notes, Catherine Daniel and Florence Bourget.
- Conducting and orchestra were great despite a couple of off brass notes.
- Some miscasting: Although Ryan McKinny sang Wotan musically and sensitively, his voice was one size too small, sound stuck in his throat. I wish that Berg was singing Wotan instead. Roger Honeywell portrayed Loge with excellent style and musicality, but in half the time, his voice was too light. Cangelosi would have fare better in this role. Julian Close consistently pushed his voice and sounded hollow.
- No intermission: The one act opera went for over 2 hours 30 mins without a break, which was challenging for both audience and orchestra musicians.
Read: Adrian Rodriguez’s review