John Wegner

1998 Adelaide Ring Critiques


by Richard Wagner - 3 Cycles

State Opera of South Australia
The Adelaide Festival Theatre
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Production of the Theatre du Châtelet, Paris

Conductor:                 Jeffrey Tate
Director:                     Pierre Strosser

Wotan/Wanderer:   John Wegner
Brünnhilde:               Janis Martin
Alberich:                    Malcolm Donnelly
Fricka:                        Elizabeth Campbell
Erda:                           Liane Keegan
Fasolt:                         Warwick Fyfe
Fafner:                        David Hibbard
Siegmund:                  John Keyes
Sieglinde:                   Claire Primrose
Mime:                          Peter Keller
Siegfried:                    Edward Cook
Hagen:                         Daniel Sumegi

The Sun-Herald,Sydney, December 6,1998 - John Carmody

Wotan....John Wegner was outstandingly good in this pivotal and powerful role; his voice was rich, unstressed and splendidly varied in its colour, allowing him, for example, to seem almost awestruck in his scene of moral indecision with Brünnhilde yet of truly magisterial force in the scene when he condemns her to imprisonment by fire .

Not only did he sing with such unfaltering power, whether contained or unleashed, his movements had a minatory, feline deliberateness: this discipline from a normally athletic and active performer was especially impressive.

Delirious with Ring fever
Michael Kennedy - Sunday Telegraph, London - 6th December 1998

I have attended the second cycle and was impressed by the consistently high level of achievement - the equal of almost anyEuropean cycle of today except a one-off very best.
John Wegner's Wotan seems almost understated after one has become accustomed to John Tomlinson's forceful characterisation, but his portrayal has a different kind of authority no less compelling in its presentation of a tragic figure losing control of events. Wegner's voice has a serene lyric quality, but can ring out powerfully when the score requires it. His Wanderer had a special quality of resigned nobility.

Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Parts 2 and 3: Die Walküre and Siegfried.
Monday, November 23rd, 1998, The Australian - Tristram Cary
.... this is the role on which the whole Ring cycle hinges - Wotan (Wanderer, Wälse, Wolfe), chief of the gods.
John Wegner’s enormous task, involving literally hours of singing and subtle nuances of personality, can hardly be underestimated.
Wegner’s experience in the role was evident in his confident reading of this complex character, and his consistent strength was clearly an inspirational pivot for those around him.
......After Siegfried we see no more of the god brought down by disasters of his own making. An unforgettable performance, producing waves of cheering at the curtain calls.
These Ring Audiences are adoring every minute, every hour, and roaring like a grand final crowd at every curtain.

Das Rheingold
Thursday, November 19th,1998, The Advertiser, Adelaide, - Ewart Shaw

......In the Festival Theatre last night, 2 1/2 hours of superb theatre flowed like the waters of a great river, transporting a capacity audience to the heights and depths of human life.
.....The Gods, led by the charismatic Wotan of John Wegner .....

Die Walküre Saturday, November 21st, 1998, The Advertiser, Adelaide,

......John Wegner as Wotan grows in emotional depth as his divine strength fails .....
......The final scene where Wotan kisses away his daughter’s divinity ... was intolerably moving.


Das Rheingold
Monday, November 23rd, 1998, The Age, Melbourne, Australia - John Slavin of all, John Wegner’s Wotan, who, from the moment he enters, commands the stage as a noble visionary, brooding tragic figure and violent patriarch.

Die Walküre
Tuesday, November 24th, 1998, The Age, Melbourne, Australia - John Slavin

The second moment of musical magic is Wotan’s farewell to his rebellious daughter,
......his was an heroic effort of sustained performance.


Ring that Fires

Sat. Nov 21st. 1988, Herald Sun, Melbourne - Simon Plant

Singling out cast members for praise is difficult when the standard is uniformly high, but I’ve been amazed by John Wegner’s anguished Wotan ....

Ring Cycle The Bulletin,December 8,1998 - Maria Prerauer
....Operatically speaking, the cycle has a cast of thousands. John Wegner’s chief god, Wotan, makes an unusually sympathetic figure of this lusty Clintonesque ruler.


World Class and a Frenchman’s Revenge

The Adelaide Review, December, 1998 - Roger Knight

Das Rheingold

......John Wegner, starting out as he was to end, a tower of dramatic strength and dark vocal incisiveness, as Wotan.

Die Walküre

......John Wegner ....., he is an incisive singer who carries the part with great aplomb - and looks it in his overcoat and bandana down over one eye.


......Wegner surpassed even his fine performance to date.