04 May 2006

German Light

Wagner LOHENGRIN, Met 3.V.2006; c. Auguin; Mattila, Vogt (d), Jane Wray, Grimsley, Pape, Taylor.

[Brief note; have to rush back to the Met for Rigoletto.] Back-to-back debuts of testosterone-free German men. Last night, 'twas Klaus Florian Vogt's turn. Alluringly bizarre voice: lieder-beautiful, pitch-complete, crystal clear, loudly soft (a.k.a. softly loud); hovers mysteriously above his head (seemed like he was lipsynching a recording emanating from the chandeliers) as if a cool halo; harkens back to the reedy drawing room gentlemen of those scratchy 78's; down pillow; shaped more like Lohengrin's angel messenger (if he had one) instead of your store brand "heroic knight of the Holy Grail" (a Leonardo DiCaprio to Heppner's Harrison Ford), a voice that has no space for vengeful human anger or intense lovelust (cf. Mattila's thrust had more passion and earthy thickness) but is lullaby-sweet, and has major claims to the Department of Quiet Longing; I shall never ever hear "mein lieber Schwan" whispered so achingly beautiful, and so lonely. Vogt received the largest ovation I've seen for a debuting artist; was he holding back tears during his curtain calls?; I get choked up recalling his sound in my head; a minor miracle, really.