Yappa Ding Ding: The Rape of Brunnhilde

I came to Houston today to see a new production of the opera Siegfried by the Houston Grand Opera. It was stunning – breathtaking – especially the final act, when Brunnhilde (Christine Goerke) is awakened by Siegfried (Jay Hunter Morris). I have written before about my fascination with Wagner’s fascination with the subjugation of women ...

Yappa Ding Ding: The Rape of Brunnhilde

I came to Houston this weekend to see a new production of the opera Siegfried by the Houston Grand Opera. It was stunning – breathtaking – especially the final act, when Brunnhilde (Christine Goerke) is awakened by Siegfried (Jay Hunter Morris). I have written before about my fascination with Wagner’s fascination with the subjugation of ...

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: Dramatic Soprano Style!

The singing year has started for me as well as the Arbourist.  My teacher and I have set two goals for this year: That I will develop good practicing habits That I will finally let my big voice out at its full size In furtherance of these goals, she’s assigned me big, challenging repertoire that ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Musings on love and freedom in the Ring Cycle

Wagner’s Ring Cycle is about a curse on a ring, but in another (even larger) sense it’s about a curse on women. Four women in the four operas are forced to marry and submit to a man against their will. The first we encounter is Freia, who is Wotan’s sister-in-law. Wotan contracts with two giants ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Hail, Isolde

After Richard Wagner had been working on the Ring Cycle for about ten years, he took a break for two years to write Tristan und Isolde. With Tristan, he did something that seems unbeleivable: he took the plot of the last opera of his unfinished magnum opus (the libretto was finished, but it would take ...