Deborah Voigt’s Two New Brünnhilde Debuts at Met

Deborah Voigt launches her 2011-12 season on September 21 when she joins the New York Philharmonic in its season-opening gala in a performance to be broadcast live on public television’s Live From Lincoln Center. Soon after, she makes much-anticipated role debuts as Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, the final two installments of the Metropolitan Opera’s new “Ring” cycle, directed by Robert Lepage. In spring 2012 Voigt will also sing Brünnhilde in performances of three complete Ring cycles at the Met. Among Voigt’s other new season highlights are a Broadway concert at Washington National Opera; solo recitals in Mexico City, Fort Worth, TX, and Sydney, Australia; and concerts with the Montreal Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the season, Voigt will make further appearances as both performer and host in the “Met: Live in HD” series, including hosting duties at the Met’s gala season-opening performance on September 26, which will be telecast live onto the Lincoln Center Plaza and in Times Square.

Voigt’s opening-night program with the New York Philharmonic features a signature aria, “Dich teure Halle,” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell, and the final scene from Richard Strauss’s Salome. Voigt’s recent performance with the orchestra featured what Concertonet.com described as an “absolutely frightening” performance of Schoenberg’s Erwartung, noting that she sang “with strength, power, and an honest blatant truth. She could take the most arduous passages, crescendoing from lowest to highest notes with laughable ease. (Grisly laughable ease.) This Erwartung was neither monodrama nor short opera. It was an arousing experience in hysteria and delusions.”

Voigt introduced the role of Brünnhilde to her repertoire last season when she took on the title role in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Met. Reviewing for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini wrote, “I have seldom heard the role sung with such rhythmic accuracy and verbal clarity. From the start, with those go-for-broke cries of ‘Hojotoho,’ she sang every note honestly. She invested energy, feeling and character in every phrase.” In New York magazine, Justin Davidson noted, “Voigt gives Brünnhilde a steely joy.” In addition to her staged Wagner performances this year, Voigt will also sing Brünnhilde’s music, the famous “Immolation Scene” from the last act of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, in a winter concert with the Hamburg Symphony.

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