Monday, 18 June 2012

Erik Nelson Werner - Siegmund, Opera North

Erik Nelson Werner sings Siegmund in Opera North's Wagner Die Walküre. Tim Ashley in the Guardian said "the evening belongs to Erik Nelson Werner's Siegmund and Alwyn Mellor's Sieglinde – glorious, the pair of them, their erotic rapture, heroism and guilt all entirely credible."  That's quite some achievement since the attention's usually on Brünnhilde and Wotan, and of course the Ride of the Valkyries. No supriose because Erik Nelson Werner is very good indeed.  Listen to the live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 20th from 4.45pm

Erik Nelson Werner is American but grew up in Germany and is completely fluent in both language and culture - a rarer attribute than most realize. He's also a strong, charismatic personality, with the kind of presence that works well on stage. I first heard him in 1998 when he won the Audience Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, where other contestants and their families voted for him, as well as the audience! That was the year that no-one won first prize, for reasons still unknown. But as is often the case, singers with real potential don't fit  narrow criteria. Werner also chose an idiosyncratic programme (Fortner, no less). That's the sort of man he is. Our faith in him has paid off. Over the years, he's steadily built his career in Germany and in  the US. Read more HERE. He used to be a baritone, but is now a tenor, well suited to roles like Siegmund where he can use the resonance at the lower end of the range to create intensity.  I've written about the Schubert Winterreise he devised (mixed with readings from Goethe's Werther) for Long Beach Opera (see here and watch the video clip) Werner is definitely not boring! The clips below are from some time back.

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