Although Daniel Barenboim has been a powerful musical presence in Britain across six decades, the country has never yet experienced at first hand one of the maestro’s greatest strengths: the operatic works of Richard Wagner, and in particular the mighty Ring cycle.
Step up the BBC Proms
, which corrects this glaring omission in style with concert performances of the entire Ring over the span of a week (22-28 July 2013), cast from strength with Barenboim’s own Staatskapelle Berlin
and a wonderful cast assembled from his recent productions in Berlin and Milan. Alongside the likes of Nina Stemme, Anna Larsson and Waltraud Meier, are three Askonas Holt artists: Anna Samuil, Mikhail Petrenko and Simon O’Neill.
For O’Neill, the performance caps an exceptionally busy 2012/13 season, during which he has helped mark the Wagner 200th anniversary by performing the same role – Siegmund in Die Walküre – at theatres including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Clearly, O’Neill’s forthcoming Prom performance will be a red-letter day for all Wagnerians, yet this will not be the first time that the tenor has joined forces with Daniel Barenboim on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. O’Neill’s Florestan in Fidelio
during the 2009 Proms, accompanied by Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, was hailed a “blazing” triumph in the London press.
to watch a short film with Daniel Barenboim.