Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh, come on. Please.

The fine 'blog Mostly Opera, which I hadn't known of until now, tells me that René Pape has cancelled Sachs in Berlin next year. Our author expresses her hope that Pape isn't having second thoughts about the heavy Wagnerian bass-baritone roles. That is, will he still sing Wotan?

I'll say this, of the last two generations of Wagnerian basses, in my book, only John Tomlinson and René Pape have the pipes and acting ability to carry off roles like Wotan and Hagen. To put it another way, they don't embarrass themselves next to Friedrich Schorr, and often acquit themselves quite well. Tomlinson has proved his ability to sing Wotan (being a standout in Barenboim's Ring, and - moreover - a splendid Hagen for Haitink, in fact, one of the few reasons to seek out that Götterdämmerung). Pape has sung the part of, well, God. Let me justify that, he did the parts of the voice of God in Welser-Möst's recording of Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln* (EMI, 1998).

He can do it. Pape should sing Wotan, preferably at Bayreuth (with an equally outstanding cast), with Peter Schneider, Daniel Barenboim, or James Levine at the stick, and every record company should fall all over themselves to get it. Wishful thinking? Yes. A modern Ring that has a chance? Assuredly. A good idea? Absolutely.

* I really do need to write about Das Buch. I've had it on my mental to-do list ('blog section) for a year now. It's been too long.


At 1:26 PM, Blogger mostly opera... said...

Thanks for the nice words on my blog. Most appreciated.
Apparently, Rene Pape cancelled Hans Sachs immediately after three concerts this march in Munich singing excerpts from Meistersinger (and Walkure-Wotan) for the first time. I have been told that the Munich Philharmonics conducted by Christian Thielemann absolutely drowned both Pape and Robert Dean Smith. Hope this isn´t the reason for him giving it up.
By the way, Rene Pape is scheduled to sing Wotan with Barenboim in 2010/2011 in the new La Scala/Berlin Ring. And I really hope he´ll replace Bryn Terfel, who is scheduled at the MET in 2011!

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

You're quite welcome. Good to hear, too, that Pape has a Ring coming in the distance.

That's unfortunate about Thielemann, who always seems to take one step forward and then two back.

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