Performing Wagner
Title Details

154 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

25 colour and 22 b/w illus.

Imprint: Toccata Press

Performing Wagner

A Singer’s Perspective on the Major Tenor Roles

by Stephen Gould and F. Peter Phillips

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Offers a unique perspective in to what it takes to perform Richard Wagner's operas.

Performing Wagner studies each of the iconic Wagnerian heldentenor roles from the unique perspective of the performer. Stephen Gould studied and acted them hundreds of times in scores of productions around the world prior to his passing in 2023. In this thoughtful book, he offers insights to building a character, understanding the dramatic arc of each role, analysing each scene for cogency and dramatic structure, and finding the clues embedded in the music and the words. His intelligence and eloquence offer perspectives that only a performer can experience.

The book is unique in opera literature. Neither a memoir nor a musical analysis, Performing Wagner is a practical guide to preparing for, and performing, these roles. Stephen Gould hoped to share his experiences with enthusiasts of Wagner's works, as well as opera audiences more generally who seek to learn what singing actors do in performance. It is invaluable to young artists approaching this repertoire and to scholars studying Wagner's dramaturgy. More broadly, this volume speaks to the condition of every opera fan who has ever been floored by a great performance and wondered, 'how did they do that?'

A chapter is devoted to each role, and a foreword is provided by Katharina Wagner, the composer's great-granddaughter and Director of the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany.
Foreword - Katharina Wagner
Introduction - F. Peter Phillips

I. Tannhäuser
2. Tristan
3. The Ring of the Nibelung, Loge, Siegmund, Siegfried in Siegfried, Siegfried in Götterdämmerung
4. Lohengrin and Erik
5. Parsifal
6. Working with Conductors and Stage Directors
7. A Word on Technique

Tributes: Colleagues Remember Stephen Gould
Lise Davidsen
Markus Eiche
Catherine Ann Foster
Ekaterina Gubanova
Tomasz Konieczny
Petra Lang
Tichina Vaughan
Michael Volle

Index of Operas and Roles

The late STEPHEN GOULD performed leading Wagner roles at Bayreuth, Covent Garden, Munich, Valencia, Tokyo, New York, Vienna and Zurich. His repertory included Tannhäuser, Tristan, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Erik, Siegfried, and Loge. He also appeared in new productions of Die Liebe der Danae and Otello in Dresden, Tannhäuser in Tokyo, Paris and Geneva, Der fliegende Holländer in Munich and Palermo, Lohengrin in Trieste, Die tote Stadt in Berlin and Vienna, Fidelio in Rome, Ariadne auf Naxos and Parsifal in Graz and Les Troyens, Fidelio and Otello in Florence. He performed with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Ivor Bolton, Pierre Boulez, Jesus Lopes Cobos, James Conlon, Myung-Whun Chung, Gabriele Ferro, Asher Fisch, Adam Fischer, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Hartmut Haenchen, Daniel Harding, Marek Janowski, Philippe Jordan, Daniel Lipton, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ulf Schirmer, Peter Schneider, Jeffrey Tate, Christian Thielemann, Massimo Zanetti, and David Zinman.

Born in the United States, he trained at the New England Conservatory of Music and two years with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists. Stephen spent the first decade of his career in the United States, performing in concert, opera and touring in musical theatre. During this period, he continued his studies with former Metropolitan Opera baritone John Fiorito, making the vocal transition to heldentenor. Critical praise greeted his European debut as Florestan in Fidelio. Stephen soon received offers to sing at the prestigious Maggio Musicale in Florence under maestro Zubin Mehta. An important milestone in his career came with his debut as Tannhäuser under maestro Christian Thielemann at the 2004 Bayreuth Festival, where he first performed Siegfried in the Ring Cycle in 2006. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2011, also under maestro Thielemann.

F. PETER PHILIPS is President of the Richard Wagner Society of New York, the largest such association in North America. He frequently lectures and conducts interviews on topics relating to Wagner, and maintains The Wagner Blog.

"The opportunity to have someone of Stephen Gould's intelligence and experience expatiate on the major Wagner roles from inside is surely one no serious Wagnerian would pass up." BARRY MILLINGTON



August 2024

£60.00 / $85.00

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Title Details

154 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

25 colour and 22 b/w illus.

Imprint: Toccata Press