Wagner: Siegfried - Cox, McIntyre, Roberts, Zednik, Mazura, Höffgen; Stein. Bayreuth, 1974
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Even if Brenda Roberts did not become a household name (at least in Wagnerian households), it would not be an overstatement to say that on the occasion of her Bayreuth debut a star was born. Roberts’ soprano possessed a silvery lyricism that you might expect from a Mozartian specialist with the soaring thrust of a truly great Wagnerian. What is even more remarkable is that she was the youngest soprano to ever sing Brünnhilde at Bayreuth. I can only wonder why it took me this long to find out about this remarkable singer, but I have to imagine that her soprano could not hold up to the rigors of the dramatic repertory long enough for her to make good on the enormous promise she displays in her debut. Jean Cox’s youthful Siegfried was no stranger to Bayreuth audiences, having dominated the role for the first half of the 70s. Donald McIntyre manages the bluster of the Wanderer without the blowsy quality that would creep into his performances later in the decade. Heinz Zednik’s wiry Mime nearly steals every scene he is in. The sound is good.