Discussion:
Evelyn Herlitzius
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kevemaher
2016-11-24 22:24:27 UTC
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We are planning to attend the Ring in San Francisco in 2018.
Evelyn Herlitzius is scheduled be Brunnhilde. I know that she has sung many Wagner roles at Bayreuth, but I really don't know much about her and have never seen her perform. I would appreciate comments on her ability in the role.
Thanks,
Kevin
REP
2016-11-25 19:15:50 UTC
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She wouldn't be my first or second choice, but there are worse Brunnhildes out there.

REP
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-11-28 19:03:20 UTC
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Post by kevemaher
We are planning to attend the Ring in San Francisco in 2018.
Evelyn Herlitzius is scheduled be Brunnhilde. I know that she has sung many Wagner roles at Bayreuth, but I really don't know much about her and have never seen her perform. I would appreciate comments on her ability in the role.
Thanks,
Kevin
She's very popular at the moment, but I have mixed feelings. Haven't heard her live in Wagner, but have as Elektra -- very passionate, physical actress, voice larger than it often sounds on record but fairly lean-toned and wavers under pressure. Rather like Josephine Barstow in her prime, but less powerful. The effect is thrilling at times, but I preferred Irene Theorin's Elektra. Here's a bleeding chunk (sound only) of her as Brunnhilde, six years ago:



It's my impression she's worn a bit since then. The conducting here is a handicap. This bit of her Ortrud gives a better idea of what's good and less good about her:



and, at possibly her present best, Emilia Marty in Vec Makropoulos, though it's a lousy staging:



Hope that's of some interest. Good luck with the staging; I don't think I'll bother...

Cheers,

Mike
jo'
2017-02-21 06:22:32 UTC
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Whenever a commentator says something like 'she's a good actress' I think 'hogcaller'. I've watched these YouTube videos and there's no way I'd pay money to be assaulted by such screeching. Honestly, what has opera come to today that this kind of trash performer can get anywhere near a stage?

J
kevemaher
2017-02-23 07:52:52 UTC
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Post by jo'
Whenever a commentator says something like 'she's a good actress' I think 'hogcaller'. I've watched these YouTube videos and there's no way I'd pay money to be assaulted by such screeching. Honestly, what has opera come to today that this kind of trash performer can get anywhere near a stage?
J
Decided not to go to this Ring. Based on the comments above and on the distasteful production. Saw it in 2011 in SF. Had Stemma as B.

Greer Grimsley is a great Wotan. I'm not sure he's very well known outside the States. Aside from the conductor and orchestra, he's the biggest reason to go to this revival.

I will probably catch a Walkure, my favorite Ring opera. The SF opera orchestra is first class. Runnicles is an excellent Ring conductor. The opera house has a very classy 1930s style design with a very warm, mellow sound that works very well with Wagners's music.

Kevin

Kevin
Mike Scott Rohan
2017-02-23 18:42:27 UTC
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Post by kevemaher
Post by jo'
Whenever a commentator says something like 'she's a good actress' I think 'hogcaller'. I've watched these YouTube videos and there's no way I'd pay money to be assaulted by such screeching. Honestly, what has opera come to today that this kind of trash performer can get anywhere near a stage?
J
Decided not to go to this Ring. Based on the comments above and on the distasteful production. Saw it in 2011 in SF. Had Stemma as B.
Greer Grimsley is a great Wotan. I'm not sure he's very well known outside the States. Aside from the conductor and orchestra, he's the biggest reason to go to this revival.
I will probably catch a Walkure, my favorite Ring opera. The SF opera orchestra is first class. Runnicles is an excellent Ring conductor. The opera house has a very classy 1930s style design with a very warm, mellow sound that works very well with Wagners's music.
Kevin
Kevin
It's nice to have the chance of any Ring at all, although I agree wholeheartedly about the staging -- not my favourite producer, by a long chalk. I mourn for the old SF Lehnhoff staging -- even after the earthquake, with bits of the auditorium dropping off.

Runnicles has always been one of my favourite conductors, though, and not just because as schoolboys we caught the bus through to Glasgow to see Scottish Opera's first Ring -- we didn't speak, a shame. Grimsley, as you say, isn't well known outside the USA, except of course to those of us who've frequented Seattle in the great days. I don't actually think his voice is very ingratiating, wiry and forceful rather than rich (and least effective in the Wanderer's bass-oriented range), but he has the character, the stamina and the intensity -- unlike, say, the more mellifluous Alan Held. Anyhow, enjoy as much as you can, and let us know!

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2017-02-23 18:32:35 UTC
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Post by jo'
Whenever a commentator says something like 'she's a good actress' I think 'hogcaller'. I've watched these YouTube videos and there's no way I'd pay money to be assaulted by such screeching. Honestly, what has opera come to today that this kind of trash performer can get anywhere near a stage?
Well, a voice can make a very different impression onstage from in recording. I often feel that the microphone can expose the voice in an unnatural way, and highlight problems less apparent in a theatre acoustic. Gwyneth Jones often sounded much better live than on most recordings, I think because her "beat" was less apparent. Which is the "real" voice? I don't know. But I agree that Herlitzius, though she is genuinely a very committed actress -- not just a critical euphemism -- is a bit hard on the ears.

Cheers,

Mike
jo'
2017-02-25 01:15:40 UTC
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Another warning bell for me is when a critic says 'She projects the text very well'. That's a polite way of saying 'This is yet another screecher'. I can only be grateful for the release on CD of so many live performances of Wagner, especially from the 1950s - great orchestral playing, intelligent and musical approach to the text, and glorious voices.

J

b***@earthlink.net
2017-02-23 20:58:09 UTC
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I've never heard Evelyn Herlitzius, but I did see the first three installments of this Ring in DC when they premiered. I found the whole thing to be mostly harmless. Not enlightening in any way, shape or form, but inoffensive.

Par better than the Lepage Ring.
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