Wagner: Die Walküre (In English) - Hunter, June, Bailey, Remedios, Howard, Grant; Goodall. ENO, 1970
Listen to a Sample:
This performance of Die Walküre, or The Valkyrie by its English title, will certainly appeal to fans of Reginald Goodall's legendary English Ring as well as fans of this opera, English-speaking or not. The cast is youthful and seems to relish the opportunity to sing Wagner in their native tongue. Rita Hunter may have looked anything but adolescent but she certainly conveys it with her voice. The top is gleaming and she never compromises the purity of her voice for the sake of volume (she doesn't seem to have to actually. The voice is enormous!) Alberto Remedios brings a youthful ardor to Siegmund as well as a very attractive tone. His achievement in this role is doubly noteworthy as he would be singing the role of Siegfried a few nights later. Norman Bailey is more avuncular than regal as Wotan but his diction is impeccable and the last scene is quite moving. Soprano Ava June is the one addition to the cast who was not represented in the EMI recording (you may remember her from the English language recording of Il trovatore with Charles Craig and Peter Glossop.) I prefer her to Margaret Curphey. Her voice is slender but steely on top and she is well paired with Remedios. Goodall's conducting although slow, only seems to enhance the momentum of the drama. The sound is good.