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Latest News: Classical, Wagner (composer)

 Interview, Catherine Foster on Wagner

by Katherine Cooper

The British dramatic soprano, who sings Brünnhilde on the Weimar Ring Cycle which is now available on Arthaus Musik, talks to Katherine about her remarkable journey from midwifery to Bayreuth.

 Recording of the Week, Lise Davidsen sings Wagner and Strauss

by Katherine Cooper

The robust young Norwegian soprano thrills in scenes from Tannhäuser and Ariadne auf Naxos, and Strauss's Four Last Songs.

 Interview, Lise Davidsen on Wagner & Strauss

by Katherine Cooper

The Norwegian lyric-dramatic soprano discusses her career so far and her debut album on Decca, out this Friday.

 Interview, Jaap van Zweden on the Hong Kong Philharmonic's Ring Cycle

by Katherine Cooper

As the final instalment of the cycle on Naxos is released, the conductor talks to Katherine about the project's origins, and the challenges and rewards of tackling Wagner's epic with an orchestra whose primary home is the concert-hall rather than the opera-house.

 Interview, Stuart Skelton on Wagner

by Katherine Cooper

The Australian tenor (currently singing Siegmund in the Royal Opera House's Ring Cycle) talks to Katherine about his career as a Wagnerian and his debut solo recording Shining Knight, recently released on ABC Classics.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner's Die Meistersinger from Bayreuth, directed by Barrie Kosky

by Katherine Cooper

Katherine reviews the Australian director's complex but illuminating 2017 production, which places the composer himself at the heart of the action.

 Recording of the Week, Matthias Goerne - The Wagner Project

by James Longstaffe

German baritone Matthias Goerne offers a selection of monologues from Wagner's operas, accompanied by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding.

 Interview, Kasper Holten on Das Liebesverbot

by Katherine Cooper

With his new production of Die Meistersinger opening at Covent Garden tonight, Katherine talks to the director about his recent staging of Wagner's neglected early comic opera.

 Recording of the Week, Matthias Goerne sings Wotan in Wagner's Die Walküre

by Katherine Cooper

Katherine listens to the next instalment in Naxos's Ring Cycle, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

 Favourites, Richard Wagner

by James Longstaffe

James selects some of his favourite audio and video recordings of the music of Richard Wagner from amongst the many outstanding available accounts.

 Recording of the Week, Jonas Kaufmann sings Wagner’s Parsifal

by Katherine Cooper

The German tenor gives the performance of his career as Wagner’s ‘Holy Fool’ in François Girard’s production from the Metropolitan Opera, with René Pape as Gurnemanz and Katarina Dalayman as Kundry.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner from Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra

by Chris O'Reilly

Wonderfully balanced and beautifully characterised accounts of the Overture to Die Meistersinger, the Siegfried Idyll and three excerpts from Götterdämmerung, including an Immolation Scene of laser-sharp accuracy and thrilling power from Petra Lang.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner from Jonas Kaufmann and others

by Katherine Cooper

Gergiev conducts an electrifying Walküre starring René Pape as Wotan, Nina Stemme as his rebel daughter, and Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Kampe as the Walsung Twins; Kaufmann’s solo album of opera scenes and the Wesendock-Lieder, meanwhile, is the best thing he’s ever done.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner - Klaus Florian Vogt and a new Parsifal

by Katherine Cooper

The sweet-toned German tenor presents a portfolio of heavyweight heroes, whilst Marek Janowski’s Wagner cycle on Pentatone continues with a marvellously paced Parsifal, starring Christian Elsner as the ‘holy fool’.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman starts PentaTone’s 10th anniversary celebrations

by Chris O'Reilly

The first in a projected cycle of Wagner’s ten major operas from Marek Janowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin stars Albert Dohmen in commanding form as the accursed sailor looking for love, Matti Salminen as a first-rate Daland, and Ricarda Merbeth as a stentorian Senta.

 Recording of the Week, Wagner's Parsifal from the Mariinsky and Gergiev

by Chris O'Reilly

Taken from live performances in St Petersburg last June, Gergiev’s vividly theatrical reading of Wagner’s Bühnenweihfestspiel stars Gary Lehman as the titular ‘holy fool’, Violeta Urmana as Kundry, and René Pape as Gurnemanz.

 Recording of the Week, A Ring cycle for the 21st Century

by Chris O'Reilly

La Fura del Baus brings Wagner’s eighteen-hour epic to life with striking choreography and special effects, and a superb cast including American soprano Jennifer Wilson as Brünnhilde and bass Matti Salminen as Fasolt, Hunding and Hagen.

 Recording of the Week, Reginald Goodall's revelatory 'Mastersingers'

by Chris O'Reilly

Broadcast by the BBC in 1968 and sung in English by a largely British cast, the controversial conductor’s take on Wagner’s only comedy impresses with its ‘immense depths of mood and meaning’.