Friday, July 16, 2010

Zur Kunst die Lieb'

I could not be more thrilled by the rapturous and nearly universal acclaim with which Bryn Terfel's recent role debut as Hans Sachs has been greeted (photo: Catherine Ashmore for WNO.)  Just a few of the effusive reviews stem from Classical Source, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.  Intermezzo has not only a detailed review, but lots of pictures!)  Mr. Terfel is an honorable member of the group of opera singers who compose my Pantheon of Imaginary Uncles.  (Domingo heads the list, but there are others as well.)  Here is an irrelevant but winsome German interview.  You cannot fool anyone by singing Evil Baritones, Mr. Terfel; irrepressible likeability will out.

The Proms performance of Meistersinger will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 this Saturday, at 4:00 London time which means 11:00 a.m. for me.  It will then be available on demand for a week.  (Full details here.)  I'll be sorry to miss the Richard Jones production, but still, I will get to hear the avuncular Mr. Terfel sing, or channel, Hans Sachs.

Update: the debate about Wagner and anti-Semitism is apparently being formally (re-)taken up by historian and author Mark Berry (his really interesting music blog here; his impressive faculty page here; his book about politics and religion in the Ring here) and critic Barry Emslie, author of the recent Richard Wagner and the Centrality of Love.  Heavy but fascinating stuff; the discussion starts at The Wagner Journal online.  Hans Sachs, who surely can be enjoyed with a clear conscience and cheerful mood (quoth she, not unaware of potential for being shown error of her ways), here:

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