Two albums of Wagner arias have been spinning round my head these past few weeks. One is by Jonas Kaufmann, who (some believe) sings better with his shirt off.
The other, out next month is by Klaus Florian Vogt, who sings most summers at Bayreuth but never a big houses because his is not a giant voice. It is, however, a fabulous, liquefying instrument. I was knocked out by his performance last summer in Lohengrin and again on Sony in his forthcoming Wagner bits. Just too beautiful to believe.
Vogt was announced today as joint winner of the European Culture Prize, awarded by the European Parliament. He shares it with Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirschlager.