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Deborah Voigt hosts Met “Ring” cycle on PBS Sep 10–14, 2012

Deborah Voigt launches her 2012-13 opera season on network television, as the host of a special five-night presentation of Wagner’s complete “Ring” cycle in the PBS series “Great Performances from the Met” (Sep 10–14). Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera over the past two seasons, the broadcasts feature Robert Lepage’s visionary new production, which was hailed as “awesome” by the New York Times; Voigt stars in the iconic and notoriously demanding role of Brünnhilde, at the head of an all-star cast. The soprano also plays a prominent part in Wagner’s Dream, a documentary about the new staging that will air as a prelude to the epic cycle. The New York Times pronounced Wagner’s Dream “the rare backstage film that maintains a level head even in moments of crisis,” while Entertainment Weekly singled out as being “of particular delight: the friendly openness of the great American dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt – a Brünnhilde to reckon with.” Co-hosting all five nights of the PBS presentation alongside WQXR’s Midge Woolsey, Voigt describes her own experience in the production; interviews Met General Manager Peter Gelb; and guides listeners through Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung, the four operas that make up the complete Ring des Nibelungen. Further details of the five PBS broadcasts are provided below, and more information is available here.
The full Met “Ring” cycle – complete with Wagner’s Dream – will also be released by Deutsche Grammophon as a Blu-ray DVD-set on September 11. Meanwhile Voigt looks forward to reprising her portrayal of Brünnhilde when the Met revives Lepage’s groundbreaking production in spring 2013, the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth. As the New York Times affirmed, “she proved herself as Brünnhilde” last season. In Die Walküre, the Huffington Post found “the emotional intensity of her portrayal…so moving and convincing that tears streamed down [the critic’s] face,” while according to the New York Post, in Siegfried “she played the subtle transformation from virgin goddess to passionate woman exquisitely, with by far the best acting in her 20-year Met career.” As for Götterdämmerung, it was declared “a triumph for the soprano” by WQXR’s Operavore, and the Associated Press agreed: “Deborah Voigt surpassed expectations, singing with eloquence and hitting all her high notes in this treacherous role.
In addition to her television appearances as host of the five PBS broadcasts, the soprano will also be hosting multiple transmissions in the Met’s popular “Live in HD” series, including the season-opening event on September 24, a presentation of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. This transmission will air live on big screens in New York’s Times Square as well as in the city’s Lincoln Center Plaza.  Voigt has appeared numerous times in the enormously successful series, both as performer and as host.  Last fall, she interviewed VIPs on the red carpet for the Met’s opening night.  Among her guests was the legendary singer-songwriter Patti Smith – often called the “Godmother of Punk” – who discussed her own love of opera with Voigt and divulged what she had learned as an artist from opera singers. That interview is available here.
Besides revisiting Brünnhilde in the Met’s spring revival of the complete cycle, the soprano’s 2012-13 season performance highlights include a starring role as Cassandre in Francesca Zambello’s revival of Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the Met this winter; reprising her portrayal of Minnie in Puccini’s La fanciulla del west at Belgium’s Liege Opera and singing Wagner and Strauss with Florida’s Orlando Philharmonic.
A complete list of Deborah Voigt’s upcoming engagements follows, and additional information may be found at her web site:
PBS “Great Performances at the Met” presents Wagner’s “Ring” cycle
Co-host: Deborah Voigt
Wagner’s Dream (documentary)
Broadcast date: Mon, Sep 10 (8pm in NY; check local listings)
Director: Susan Froemke
Featuring Deborah Voigt
Das Rheingold
Broadcast date: Tues, Sep 11 (8pm in NY; check local listings)
(Performance recorded Oct 9, 2010)
Director: Robert Lepage
Conductor: James Levine
Wotan: Bryn Terfel
Fricka: Stephanie Blythe
Freia: Wendy Bryn Harmer
Erda: Patricia Bardon
Die Walküre
Broadcast date: Wed, Sep 12 (8pm in NY; check local listings)
(Performance recorded May 14, 2011)
Director: Robert Lepage
Conductor: James Levine
Wotan: Bryn Terfel
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Siegmund: Jonas Kaufmann
Sieglinde: Eva-Maria Westbroek
Fricka: Stephanie Blythe
Broadcast date: Thurs, Sep 13 (8pm in NY; check local listings)
(Performance recorded Nov 5, 2011)
Director: Robert Lepage
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Broadcast date: Fri, Sep 14 (9pm in NY; check local listings)
(Performance recorded Feb 11, 2012)
Director: Robert Lepage
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Brünnhilde: Deborah Voigt
Siegfried: Gary Lehman
Deborah Voigt: upcoming engagements 2012-13
Sep 24
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera (opening night)
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (“Live in HD” host)
Dec 13, 17, 21, 26, & 29; Jan 1 & 5m (“Live in HD”)
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Berlioz: Les Troyens (Cassandre)
Feb 22, 24, 26, & 28; March 2 & 5
Liege, Belgium
Liege Opera
Puccini: La fanciulla del West (Minnie)
March 10
Oberlin, OH
Oberlin Conservatory
March 16
Orlando, FL
Orlando Philharmonic
Orchestrated Strauss songs
Wagner: “Liebestod” from Tristan and Isolde
April 13 & 26; May 6
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Wagner: Die Walküre (Brünnhilde)
April 20 & 29; May 8
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Wagner: Siegfried (Brünnhilde)
April 23; May 2 & 11
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Wagner: Götterdämmerung (Brünnhilde)
May 17
Jackson, MS
Mississippi Opera
May 19
Northridge, CA
Valley Performing Arts Center
California State University

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