Out of the Shadows

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Wagner's Die Walküre to receive its Icelandic premiere in Icelandic Opera's first Wagner opera for 20 years

Julia Burbach's production of Wagner's Die Walküre in Bordeaux - Evgeny Nikitin (Wotan) - Opéra National de Bordeaux (Photo Eric Bouloumie)
Julia Burbach's production of Wagner's Die Walküre in Bordeaux - Evgeny Nikitin (Wotan) - Opéra National de Bordeaux (Photo Eric Bouloumie)

Julia Burbach first directed Wagner's Die Walküre at the Opéra National de Bordeaux in 2019 in a co-production with Icelandic Opera. The production's Icelandic debut in 2020 had to be postponed and will finally be presented at Harpa in Reykjavik in February 2022. In the meantime, of course, Burbach has directed a new production Wagner's Die Walküre in Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick's reduced version at the Grimeborn Festival [see my review, and see also my interview with Julia]

February's performances at Harpa will be the Icelandic premiere of Die Walküre and Icelandic Opera's first Wagner opera since Der fliegende Holländer in 2002. One significant difference between Icelandic Opera's performances and the production in Bordeaux is that, owing to the relatively small size of the pit in Harpa, the players of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra will be seated on the stage. 

Julia Burbach directs Wagner's Die Walküre with Tal Rosner as video designer and co-director. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Eva Ollikainen, the orchestra’s recently appointed chief conductor and artistic director. Soprano Iréne Theorin sings Brünnhilde and having previously sung Alberich internationally, Icelandic baritone Ólafur Kjartan Sigurðarson makes his role debut as Wotan. British tenor Christopher Ventris, sings Siegmund with British soprano Claire Rutter as Sieglinde [in 2017 we caught Claire as Sieglinde at Grange Park Opera, see my review, and in the title role of Tosca with Icelandic Opera, see my review]. German mezzo-soprano Christa Mayer makes her Icelandic Opera debut as Fricka and Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson sings Hunding. The Valkyries are performed by eight singers from Iceland. 

Full details from Icelandic Opera's website.

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