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Siegfried at Canadian Opera Company
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A stunning Siegfried at the COC

Robert Harris

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 4:04PM EST

Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 4:26PM EST


Musical excellence has been one of the defining hallmarks of Alexander Neef’s tenure as General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. He has always ensured that the best singers in the world grace the Four Seasons Stage, presenting performances of uniformly high quality.

But nothing in the COC’s recent past can adequately prepare you for the almost otherworldly perfection of the COC’s current production, the third opera in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Siegfried. At five hours long, with literally thousands of notes to be performed, this Siegfried never makes a false musical move. Each gesture, each line, each leitmotif, each phrase, both in the pit and on stage, was handled with care, skill, and panache. It was astonishing.

And then Christine Goerke started to sing. And an evening that was already reaching for the stars catapulted to a whole new level. Goerke is the world’s most famous Brunnhilde at the moment, having made her role debut in Die Walkurie here last year, doing the same now in this Siegfried. She only appears in the opera at the very end, about four hours or so into the proceedings.


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