Press Room

Soprano Voigt is Met gala’s Marschallin and Brünnhilde

This month,
soprano Deborah Voigt will introduce tempting passages from two iconic roles she has yet to
sing in New York.  At the gala
celebration of the Metropolitan Opera’s 125th anniversary on March 15, Voigt is one of a handful of artists
to have the honor of singing two excerpts during the evening.  She has performed the role of Richard
Strauss’s Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in Europe, but has not yet presented it at home.  And she has already thrilled a
Tanglewood audience with her Brünnhilde – at least the heroine’s final “immolation” scene
from Götterdämmerung. (The New
York Times

reported: “To no one’s surprise, she already sounded glorious as Brünnhilde.”)  At the Met on March 15 she will sing the
final scene of Wagner’s Siegfried
(with Ben Heppner) and of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (the famous trio, with Natalie
Dessay and Susanne Mentzer).  
James Levine conducts the two-part gala that boasts a host of stars as
well as the Met’s chorus and orchestra.

Voigt’s Wagner roles at the Met have included, most recently, Isolde.  New York magazine selected her performance
opposite Ben Heppner as one of the classical music highlights of 2008:  “Cold-and-flu season kept Ben Heppner
as Tristan and Deborah Voigt as Isolde from singing together until the last
performance in the Met’s run. But when the sneezing stopped, that night proved
worth the wait. Both singers breathed and phrased in such miraculous sympathy
that it almost seemed as if they had prepped together for a joint comeback.”
Voigt has just finished a run of Isoldes at Chicago’s Lyric Opera that was no
less successful, with Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein calling it “a triumph” and describing
Voigt as “today’s Isolde of choice”. 

Deborah Voigt added the role of the Rosenkavalier’s Marschallin to her extensive list
of Strauss heroines in 2005 in Berlin under Christian Thielemann (who also
conducted her debut Isolde in Vienna in 2003).  Germany’s influential Welt am Sonntag wrote of the Strauss: “Voigt’s
flowing phrasing, her intelligent shaping of character and her precise diction
are rare – a psychological character study of a wise aging woman.”  And Musical America’s Berlin correspondent reported
that Voigt “sang with the same radiant voice that has won her worshipful fans
throughout the operatic world; and – no doubt about it – she conquered.”  When Ms. Voigt sang her first Vienna
Marschallin in 2005, the Vienna Standard ’s critic enthused, “Deborah Voigt’s Marschallin
puts everyone else in the shade. 
She stops time by bringing this artificial creature to life in a
captivating and natural way, and manages to avoid any sticky sentimentality
with her virtuosic performance.”

The Met’s
125th-anniversary gala should be a thrill for opera lovers all over
the world – not least because of the opportunity to hear the soprano “widely
acknowledged as the greatest living interpreter of the dramatic heroines of
Wagner and Richard Strauss.” (Musical America)

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