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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly-Hooked on Siegfried!, 24 May 2011
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner: Siegfried -- Metropolitan/Levine [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I love this production, which I first saw on the television in 1990.

It is this performance that sold me on "Siegfried," which I used to dismiss unfairly--never having actually seen a production--as a crashing bore. Instead, I discovered a delightful fairy tale (albeit, perhaps not for children), with gnomes, dragons, "talking" birds, and a handsome hero who wakes the sleeping beauty with a kiss.

I especially enjoyed the performance of Siegfried Jerusalem, who not only portrays the archetypical hero of legend--handsome, bumptious, and more than slightly dense about life and love--but also looks the part. His reaction at discovering Brünnhilde's identity as a female is priceless. I am amazed at Jerusalem's staying power in a role that must be physically exhausting. And let his critics have a go at wielding a heavy hammer repeatedly in tempo, while singing a full-voiced "Notung, Notung, neidliches Schwert!" The music in that scene is nothing short of thrilling.

Heinz Zednik plays the gnasty gnome Mime--who gets no respect--with such panache that one almost feels sorry for him, and Ekkehard Wlaschiha is delightfully odious as his brother Alberich, whose green appearance predates that of Shrek. James Morris is outstanding as the wandering Wotan, a rather thankless role, since he subsequently drops out of the cycle (It is almost as if Wagner got tired of the character); and Dawn Upshaw's invisible Waldvogel is magnificent. Although some critics complain that Hildegard Behrens is past it vocally, she certainly looks the part of the ex-Valkyrie, newly awakened to love.

The DVD provides subtitles, which I certainly recommend using to enhance your enjoyment of the story and the music.
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Wagner: Siegfried -- Metropolitan/Levine [DVD] [2002]
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