We posted the following quasi-review to the Opera-L eMail list today and reprint it here simply to make it part of the S&F record.
I listened to the Met's season-closing _Die Walküre_ yesterday via WQXR's excellent live feed and found the performance to be largely disappointing both musically and dramatically. What I don't know and can't determine is how much was due the vehicle (i.e., the streaming audio feed) and how much the actual performance as it was heard in-house. To bullet-point what was heard via the streaming audio feed: * Kaufmann (Siegmund): a lovely, lyric, German tenor voice with baritonal colorings but still not quite suited to this role (too light). Also, he sang the role far too lyrically; better suited to Verdi than Wagner and, surprising for a native German singer, his declamation here was also better suited to Verdi than Wagner. Not my idea of an ideal Siegmund.
* Westbroek (Sieglinde): strong but not particularly beautiful soprano voice; a voice largely absent any real dramatic nuance. Also, her German is positively atrocious.
* König (Hunding): A fine performance all round. Voice nicely matched to the role.
* Terfel (Wotan): Fine all-round job musically and dramatically. Voice too light for the role but that disability was largely overcome by his understanding of the role and his dramatic realization of that understanding.
* Voigt (Brünnhilde): Fine, big voice but still not entirely comfortable with the role either dramatically or vocally. She gives promise of becoming one of the best of the current Brünnhildes once she has more experience with the role.
* Blythe (Fricka): An exemplary performance of this role were it not for a single misstep that all but made the entire performance false dramatically: the perfectly idiot, grotesquely-Italian-opera-sentimental [and inappropriate] breaking down in sobs at the close of her line, "die Göttin entweiht er nicht so!". Whether that was something she decided to do herself or was directed to do I have no idea, but it really must be done away with!
* Jimmy and The Band: Something was very wrong there yesterday. The music came across not as a single, seamless dramatic narrative and commentary beginning to end but as a stringing together of many individual sections. That could have been the result of poor or inappropriate miking but I have no way of determining that and so will comment no further on it here.