Opera Scotland

Valkyrie 2015Berwick Festival Opera

Read more about the opera Walküre

This performance was a triumph, really, given reservations about the reduced forces. This was an experienced cast that sang marvellously, portraying the intimacy of the varied relationships with great skill, drawing in the audience right from the start.

Beforehand, out came James Waters, Creative Director, Classical Music to welcome the audience, reminding us that this was the first concert of the tenth anniversary season.

Perhaps the singing of Andrea Baker as Fricka/Waltraute, Janice Watson as Sieglinde and Ronald Samm as Siegmund himself provided the greatest moments, but there were no weaknesses.

The singers, in modern dress, belied the popular image of concert performance, moving from behind their music stands to act out the drama quite naturally. Fricka wore long scarves, gold and orange in the first act and one of a subdued green when she changed character. The balcony was used during the hunt, Wotan up to the extreme left of the audience, Hunding to the extreme right and Siegmund below Wotan.

The orchestra, eighteen strong, was drawn from the Hebrides Ensemble and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Conductor Peter Selwyn drew a fine account of the score from the reduced forces. The projections were less obtrusive and more abstract than I'd imagined, and the stage lighting too. The translation was listed as 'unattributed'.

It says something for the re-imagining of the work that I just did not miss the cuts needed to reduce the running time to just over three hours. Indeed this is probably around the length of performance that introduced the work to British audiences a century and more ago. Even the famous Ride of the Valkyries was effective though reduced to a vocal trio with an emphasis on the instrumentation.

What a pity on a warm Sunday evening there were so few there to enjoy the performance - it was far from a full house. The artists deserved better.

Matthew Rooke, producer, Maltings Berwick

Will Conway, producer Hebrides/NYOS

Zone A £24; concessions £22 + £1.50 booking fee
Zone B £15; concessions £13 + £1.50 booking fee
Zone C - Front and Restricted £13; concessions £11
Under 26s/students - £5
(+ £1.50 booking fee) 

Performance Cast

Siegmund a Volsung

Ronald Samm

Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund

Janice Watson

Hunding husband of Sieglinde

Simon Wilding

Wotan father of the Valkyries and Volsungs

Paul Carey Jones

Brünnhilde a Valkyrie

Miriam Murphy

Fricka Wotan's estranged wife

Andrea Baker

Helmwige a Valkyrie

Julie Bale

Waltraute a Valkyrie

Andrea Baker

Rossweisse a Valkyrie

Katharine Taylor-Jones

Performance DatesValkyrie 2015

Map List

Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed | Berwick-upon-Tweed

4 Sep, 19.00

Perth Concert Hall | Perth

6 Sep, 15.00

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