Performing Wagner: A Singer’s Perspective on the Major Tenor Roles


Performing Wagner: A Singer’s Perspective on the Major Tenor Roles
By Stephen Gould, with F. Peter Phillips. Foreword by Katharina Wagner

At the time of his early death in autumn 2023, the internationally renowned American Heldentenor Stephen Gould was putting the finishing touches to this unusual book, where he shares his unique insights into Wagner’s major tenor roles: Tannhäuser, Tristan, Siegfried, Siegmund and Loge in The Ring of the Nibelung, Lohengrin, Erik in The Flying Dutchman and Parsifal. Basing his understanding on the experience of hundreds of performances around the world, he describes how he learned to inhabit each character, portraying motivation in a manner that matches Wagner’s music with narrative cohesion on stage. He also discusses what he learned from working with conductors and stage directors and offers some thoughts on vocal technique.

There are countless books on Wagner and his operas; this one may be the first to put the reader in the shoes of the interpreter – a novel perspective which should be of interest to students, teachers, directors, Wagner commentators and audience members, as well as to other performers and to musicians more generally. The book opens with a preface by Katharina Wagner, the composer’s great-granddaughter and director of the Bayreuth Festival, and ends with tributes to Stephen Gould from some of the leading Wagner singers of the day.

“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, author of Richard Wagner, the Sorcerer of Bayreuth and Editor, Wagner Journal

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Published by Toccata Press

Hardcover, 154pp.
ISBN 978-0-907689-41-6

59 in stock