Askonas Holt artists delight in Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Congratulations to Sarah Connolly, Simon O’Neill, Peter Coleman-Wright, Mihoko Fujimura, Sophie Bevan and Rachel Willis-Sørensen who have now reached the triumphant conclusion of the four Ring Cycles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to a standing ovation from the delighted audience.
Askonas Holt artists are receiving critical acclaim for their performances. Sarah Connolly’s first Fricka was a triumph, with Rupert Christiansen of The Telegraph saying that “The evening’s best performance undoubtedly came from Sarah Connolly, whose impeccable Fricka must have had Wagner sighing contentedly in whatever corner of hell he has been assigned – “that’s how I meant my music to be sung”.”. Connolly also received a rave review from Michael Tanner in The Spectator who wrote: “[Terfel] has, in Sarah Connolly, the ideal Fricka. She shows us how complex the character is, just as eager to lay hands on the ring as a delightful adornment as she is to ensure that her sister Freia shouldn’t be used to pay the giants for Valhalla, still finding her husband attractive and making physical contact with him whenever possible. Connolly’s voice is now quite large, and incredibly lovely, so that Fricka takes on a fullness that we aren’t usually shown.”. Simon O’Neill, one of today’s leading Siegmunds is “…heartbreaking as Die Walküre’s incestuous twin[s]…” according to The Metro. Sophie Bevan enjoyed a tremendous role and house debut, with Erica Jeal of The Guardian commenting that the evening was “…brightened by Sophie Bevan’s sweet-sounding Woodbird…”. Rupert Christiansen singled out Mihoko Fujimura’s “…impassioned Waltraute…” as especially deserving of praise and Steffan Huck of The Spectator said “And in Götterdämmerung Mihoko Fujimura was a shattering Waltraute. It is one of Wagner’s biggest gifts to a singer, a narration of harrowing events set to supreme music, and it’s over after 20 minutes. Almost every Waltraut is fine, but Fujimura seems to have entered the part to an uncanny degree.”. Erica Jeal of The Guardian comments that “…Rachel Willis-Sørensen gleams as Gutrune.”.