Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nathan Gunn and Anna Netrebko to debut in Ring Cycle

Nathan Gunn to take on shirtless Wotan
Metropolitan Opera diva and reigning empress of the singing world, Anna Netrebko, announced yesterday that she will debut as the iconic Valkyrie, Brünnhilde, closing the latter half of the Met’s 2018-19 season. Other cast members will include James Valenti as Siegfried and Kristine Opolais as Sieglinde. Nathan Gunn, will make his role debut as operas most famous patriarch, portraying a very chiseled Wotan. 

While the general design for Die Walküre has not yet been released, sources close to Peter Gelb have leaked that Nathan Gunn will be shirtless for the majority of the production, regardless if his character is on stage. Die Walküre will be directed by Rolando Villazon.

Her debut as Brünnhilde will come just three years after her maiden voyage into the Wagnerian repertoire, as Elsa in Lohengrin (coming this May in Dresden), Netrebko says that she will be ready to tackle this mogul of the rep. "Elsa is much lighter, but it is still Wagner. She and Brünnhilde are sisters in a just have to know how to use your voice and feel comfortable with the production."

Anna Netrebko to debut as Brünnhilde
Walküre co-star Nathan Gunn has attested to Netrebko's Germanic prowess, having been viewing rehearsals over Skype. He reportedly wants to give himself enough time to become familiar with Netrebko's approach to Wagner so that he may scale down his execution to match. Dresden has teased that it will stage Lohengrin to the backdrop of Disney's Frozen in order to attract younger audiences.
 With role debuts of Norma and Aida on the way, sources close to the soprano say that after her acclaimed, if not successful Lady Macbeth, she feels confident that audiences will love her in almost anything. Of course, accompanying the buzz that followed yesterday’s announcement came speculation as to what could possibly follow such a mammoth undertaking in her catapulting career. 

YouTube comments under various repostings of her Act I aria from Macbeth mused at everything from a return to ingénue roles, to rumors of her role debut as Isolde opening the 2019-20 season at the Royal Opera.  Covent Garden has declined to comment, but friends of the soprano have, for now, attempted to dispel the rumor, hinting that after her 11 performance run as Brunnhilde, the soprano plans to step away from the Wagnerian rep for at least 7 months to preserve her voice.

[HAPPY APRIL FOOLS' DAY...and kudos to barihunk Zachary Luchetti for the text]

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