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‘Everyone’s a Siegfried, deep down,’ says Bayreuth’s main man

It’s Canadian tenor Lance Ryan’s turn on the publicity merry-go-round in the run-up to the Bayreuth Ring:

‘Although Siegfried is “a bad guy,” one should also see his innocence. He doesn’t know any better; he can’t behave any other way. He has no roots: he doesn’t know where he came from, doesn’t know his mother or father. He’s never known love, and doesn’t know how to deal with Brünnhilde…’

Could be just about anyone? I think that is what Wagner wanted to say: “We’re all Siegfried.”

Go for it, Lance!

lance ryan


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  1. Angela Cockburn says:

    Siegfried is a sixteen or seventeen year old adolescent at the “It’s all about me” grump stage. Unfortunately the role can’t be sung by a sixteen year old. So there’s a dichotomy between what we see and hear, and what we should be imagining.

    • Fabio Fabrici says:

      Lance Ryan is as close to the sixteen year old imagery as one can get in Wagnerian tenors today. He is an ideal cast. But why he thinks Siegfried is “a bad guy” is beyond me. Wagner was not Disney, his characters were more complex than the simplistic good-bad duality children’s stories and cartoons usually promote.

  2. Fabio Fabrici says:

    His comments about the new Ring’s general concept in his blog are interesting.

    “All the stage orchestra rehearsals in Bayreuth are now finished and I get four days at home to relax before we begin with the dress and pre-dress rehearsals. Everything has actually gone quite well and besides a few technical problems I feel relatively confident three weeks before the Premiere. That I’ve had the time to distance myself from the staging a little I’ve begun to undertsand a little better the concept of this ring. The main theme of oil is really a symbol for capitalism and materialism that has its respective counter-theme in socialism and humanity. Castorf sees Berlin as a microcosm of these two themes and one comes into being from the other. The idea of love is not so strong in this ring as social considerations play the dominant role. The production is not a judgement, but simply a commentary that is more realistic than one would perhaps like to admit.”

  3. John Borstlap says:

    The problem with the Siegfried character is that Wagner burdened it with a load of symbolic meaning: the youthful beginning of life, hope of a future world, the HERO in capitals, the fearless, the breaker of outdated norms etc. etc. but he was apparantly not capable of making him credible in human terms. While Brünhilde, with all her hysteria, is much more credible, Siegfried remains a thug. Any time he steps on the stage, he creates embarrassment, and wonderful music beneath his feet cannot conceal that. Stage directors just have to make the best of it.

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