“Wagner’s Ring in One Evening” – who would ever put those 5 words together in one sentence? Well, Peter Furlong would, and he DID!
Last night, July 23, Peter and 9 other artists accomplished something unique – highlights of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” in a 2 hr. concert at the Sawyer Auditorium on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH.
Eight singers, two collaborative pianists and a narrator traversed the 15+ hours of this monumental work in just about 2 hours. We singers performed 2 or 3 Ring characters each, trading places onstage to depict gods, goddesses, dwarves, and a couple of mortals.
Wagnerian singers of unsurpassed talent who sang are Tenor Peter Furlong (Siegmund, Siegfried); Bass-Baritone Benjamin Bloomfield (Wotan/Wanderer, Alberich, Hagen); Dramatic Soprano Meredith Bloomfield (Brunnhiilde, Helmwige, 3rd Norn); Soprano Alexandra Lang (Woglinde,
Gerhilde, Sieglinde, 2nd Norn); Mezzo-Soprano Joanna Porackova (Waltraute, 1st Norn), Soprano Jenny Ribeiro (Wellgunde, Ortlinde, Waldvogel); Soprano Rachel Selan (Flosshilde, Siegrune, Fricka), and yours truly singing Erda and the Valkyrie Schwertleite.
We were accompanied on TWO grand pianos by collaborative pianists Jeffrey Brody and Kathryn Lundahl. Helpful narration was presented by Jennie O’Brien, who wove everything together, explaining certain scenes and plot points that were omitted.
I was especially gratified that three of my students attended: Janet Boutin, Anne Orio, and Barbara Malcolm, all bearing beautiful bouquets for their “diva” teacher! Truly a most memorable evening!
A special shout-out to Peter Furlong, who put together an amazing program of high art featuring a galaxy of superior singers and players. The Berlin Opera Group’, Peter’s organization, was the sponsor. www.berlinoperagroup.org
Here are photos from last night’s performance – the cast taking a bow (that’s Peter behind Kathy and me); Alexandra (Sieglinde) and me; Ben (Wotan) and me; Joanna, Jeffrey, and me; Janet Boutin, Anne Orio and me; and various other artists and fans who gathered in the theatre lobby to chat and bask in our evening of inspired singing and playing.
(OK…I have to do this one more time – HO-JO-TO-HO!!!)