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Deborah Voigt sings first Brünnhilde in Met’s new Walküre

After wowing critics and fans alike as Puccini’s Girl of the Golden West at the Metropolitan Opera, this spring Deborah Voigt returns to her home company for a milestone role debut: for the first time, she takes on Brünnhilde – one of opera’s most challenging and iconic roles – in a new production of Wagner’s Die Walküre.  This second installment of Robert Lepage’s complete new Ring cycle also stars Bryn Terfel as Wotan, with music director James Levine on the podium; according to the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini, the new staging is “the most anticipated event of the spring.”  Die Walküre opens on April 22 for a run of seven performances, the last of which on May 14 will be featured in the popular Met: Live in HD series.
While long heralded as the leading dramatic soprano of our time, Voigt has until now sung only excerpts of Brünnhilde’s music in public.  As an encore after her 2004 Carnegie Hall recital, the soprano “delivered Brünnhilde’s octave-leaping ‘Hojotoho’ from Die Walküre with bull’s-eye accuracy and power” (New York Observer).  At the following summer’s Tanglewood Festival, she joined James Levine and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in a concert rendition of Götterdämmerung’s final act.  In his New York Times review, Tommasini described Voigt’s performance as “blazingly powerful, deeply expressive, and, as always, musically scrupulous,” before concluding: “To no one’s surprise, she already sounded glorious as Brünnhilde.”
The soprano’s celebrated portrayals of great Wagner heroines at the Met have already included such signature roles as Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Elisabeth in Tannhaüser, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, and, most recently, Senta in Der fliegende Holländer.  Of the upcoming addition to her Wagnerian repertoire, Voigt described herself as “excited and thrilled about it.  Once you take on Isolde and Brünnhilde, there’s no going back.”
The Met has assembled a stellar cast for its new Walküre; alongside Voigt and Terfel, Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek star as the Wälsungen twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, and Stephanie Blythe undertakes Fricka.  “The Ring’s not just a story or a series of operas, it’s a cosmos,” maintains director Lepage, who brings cutting-edge technology and his own visionary imagination to the great theatrical journey.  Levine, who has conducted every complete cycle of Wagner’s masterpiece at the Met since 1989, says, “The Ring is one of those works of art that you think you know, but every time you return to it, you find all kinds of brilliant moments that hadn’t struck you with the same force before.”  Voigt anticipates developing a similar long-term relationship with her new role; she explains: “Brünnhilde’s journey, throughout the Ring, will be fascinating to ‘live.’  I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my career trying to interpret every aspect of her character.”
Deborah Voigt sings first Brünnhilde
April 22
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Wagner: Die Walküre (Brünnhilde; role debut)
New production by Robert Lepage; conducted by James Levine
Additional performances: April 25 & 28; May 2, 5, 9, & 14m
May 14 performance will be in Met: Live in HD series
Other upcoming engagements:
May 19
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
“Something Wonderful: An Evening of Broadway with Deborah Voigt”
Concert and spring benefit with the Collegiate Chorale
Featured guest artist Paulo Szot
American Symphony Orchestra / Ted Sperling
May 21
Great Barrington, MA
Recital with Brian Zeger, piano
June 9-11
New York, NY
Schoenberg: Erwartung
New York Philharmonic / David Robertson
Avery Fisher Hall
July 16
Cooperstown, NY
Irving Berlin: Annie Get Your Gun (Annie)
Glimmerglass Festival
Additional performances: July 18m, 22, 24m, & 30;
Aug 2m, 4, 6m, 9m, 12, 15m, 18, 20m, & 21m
July 29
Cooperstown, NY
Deborah Voigt Benefit Concert―Voigt Lessons
Glimmerglass Festival
Additional performances: August 7 & 14

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