Friday, August 4, 2023


Our new podcast features musical examples from recordings of Das Rheingold ranging from 1904 to 2015. In case you’d like to look while listening, here are photos of some of the singers featured in this podcast.

Stephen Milling as Fasolt, with Marie Plette as Freia (Seattle 2005). Milling, the great Danish bass, sang Fafner, with Kwangchul Youn as Fasolt, when Japp van Zweden conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic in Das Rheingold in 2015. (Rozarii Lynch, photo.)

Hermann Uhde. Pictured here as Gunther in Götterdämmerung. Listen on the podcast for a clip of Uhde singing Donner. He was also a mighty Wotan.

Lorenz Fehenberger. Pictured here as Pollux in Strauss’s Der Liebe der Danae. Fehenberger sang Froh in the RAI Roma Ring conducted by Furtwängler.

Malcolm Rivers as Alberich (Seattle 1976). Seattle’s first malevolent lord of the Nibelungs trained with Benjamin Britten’s English Opera Group at Aldeburgh. Malcolm Rivers sang the Nibelung in Seattle, in both German and English, from 1975 and 1983 (not including 1981). (Bob Peterson, photo.)

Anton von Rooy as Wotan. Photographed in 1899; the clip on the podcast dates from 1908.

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan. Son of a rabbi, Schorr literally became blood brothers with the great Danish heldentenor Lauritz Melchior (and yes, a recording exists of them singing the Götterdämmerung Blood Brotherhood duet). Schorr was a great Wotan and also an incomparable Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger.

Noel Jan Tyl as Wotan (Seattle 1975). Seattle’s king of the gods from 1973 through 1977 in both German and English. (Chris Bennion, photo.)

Monte Pederson as Wotan, with Peter Kazaras as Loge (Seattle 1995). A native of Yakima, WA Pederson sang the Hoffmann villains, Scarpia, and Wotan in Seattle in the ‘90s. (Gary Smith, photo).

Greer Grimsley as Wotan (Seattle 2013). Grimsley’s Seattle debut, as Telramund in Lohengrin in 1994, proved that the New Orleans-born bass-baritone had great potential as a Wagner singer. He sang Donner and Gunther in Seattle’s 2001 Ring before graduating to Wotan for the 2005 cycle. His role debut won him Seattle Opera’s “Artist of the Year” award. (Alan Alabastro, photo.)

John Tomlinson as Wotan (Bayreuth 1991). This great British bass sang at Bayreuth every summer from 1988 to 2006.

Marjana Lipovsek as Fricka. Pictured here with John Tomlinson at Munich’s Bayerischen Staatsoper in 2002. Audio clip on the podcast recorded in 1989 (at that theater).

Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, with Greer Grimsley as Wotan (Seattle 2013). Blythe sang her first Fricka in Seattle in 2000, the summer of the “half-Ring” before the full cycle was unveiled in 2001. She’s sung many great performances in Seattle, where her 2008 Amneris in Aida earned her “Artist of the Year.” (Rozarii Lynch, photo.)

Hans Breuer as Mime. Also a stage director, later in life. Seattle Opera's 1984 Ring was directed by another singer who also specialized in Mime, Ragnar Ulfung.

Dennis Peterson as Mime (Seattle 2013). (Alan Alabastro, photo.) After singing Mime in Seattle in 2009 and 2013, Peterson sang Mime for Minnesota Opera in 2016, when Brian Staufenbiel's production was first created.

Paul Kuën as Mime.

Helmut Pampuch as Mime. Photographed in San Francisco in 1983 or 1984. Audio clip on the podcast recorded in Bayreuth 1991.

George Shirley as Loge (Covent Garden 1978). Shirley sang the fire god in London’s Colin Davis/Götz Friedrich Ring in 1974, ’75, ’76, and ’78. Seattle’s first African American Wagner singer was Simon Estes, Hagen in 1977. (Donald Southern, photo.)

Ernestine Schumann-Heink as Erda. This great contralto sang at Bayreuth between 1896 and 1914. She became an American citizen and sang at the Met through 1932.


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