What's Wrong With Wagner, In a Nutshell, Maybe

Siegfried

I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to say more about last night's Siegfried, but here's a quick note about the singer in the title role, Jay Hunter Morris. I'm not very knowledgeable about classical singers, just enough that I generally recognize the big names. I did not recognize Morris's name, but didn't assume that he was anything less than a star. There were brief interviews with most of the principals during intermission, and I was amused (ok, I was also pleased) to hear that he has a very distinct southern accent. Well, turns out he was an understudy called on very late in the game: see this story

I must say, that of all the principals, he came closest to having the good looks that Wagner attributes to his young heroes and heroines. With long hair and a beard, Morris looks like a rock star, or one of the Rohirrim out of The Lord of the Rings as they were depicted in the movie. That's him second from right on this page. The women, while certainly not unattractive, were not smashing beauties. That's not unusual in opera, of course, and always sort of undermines the effect. 

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