Like never before, today we all shouted in unison and enthusiasm for the MET production of Siegfried and the singing of Jay Hunter Morris. The smart critics may carp at aspects of scenery, high-note achievements, emotion-portrayed, and dress. But the simple audience of folk gathered in a suburban shopping center in Coquitlam, BC on a sunny fall day, enjoyed every moment of this opera.
The first live Siegfried I saw was that horrible production in Los Angeles with cut-outs by some avant garde German designer. It was inhuman. I have two DVD sets of the Ring. Soul-less attempts at modernity by European directors. Again tough to take. And not to be enjoyed as visceral theater.
So today was a great surprise and reward for getting up early and into the movie house by nine. Jay Hunter Morris stole the show, we all agreed. I have always considered Siegfried to be a dull and stupid lad. By Morris gives us an impatient, eager, impulsive, impetuous youth who falls in love like a puppy. And all the while he is singing in a voice that dominates one’s senses.
Sadly not as young as he was when some of his photos were taken, nevertheless he makes you believe in youth again and long to be back there, so full of life and ready to win and love.
I suspect he overplays the Texas hick a bit in the interval features. But we forgive him, for he comes across honest both in person and on the stage. He is a perfect Siegfried, who afterall was but a country hick himself.
I will certainly buy this DVD as soon as it is available. The only bad part is that they are not repeating it in our local movie house.