John Wegner

2002 Scarpia Critique


John Wegner - Scarpia in Tosca 2002

Deutsche Oper am Rhein
Duisburg 16/2/02

Conductor: John Fiore
Producer: Dietrich Hilsdorf


Through the guise of Baron Scarpia’s gallant authority sparks the frightening schizophrenia of a power-possessed brutal Mafia boss.

The scintillating personality of John Wegner’s Baron Scarpia was captivating through his chameleonlike performance and voice colour transformations.

Sonorous and striking, John Wegner switched confidently between gallant, dangerously soft phrases, authoritative speech tones formed through the teeth, aggressively brutal fortissimi and, as noticed by Tosca in Act 1, an unmistakable male attraction.


OPERNWELT - 4/2002

...The relaxed ease with which John Wegner posed before the statue of the Madonna and with noticeable restraint in his napoleonic finery which allowed a glimpse of Cardinal violet, as if he was the personification of the misalliance between State and Church, is as polished an act as his razor-sharp soothing articulation...



John Wegner’s Scarpia is a clever savouring Sadist, who is also a connoisseur of singing - someone who understands that the most heavenly song rises from the hell of the tormented soul.

Baritone Wegner had enough strength and skill to negotiate the extremes of the role with an even legato and a perfectly centred voice.

With taut icy grip he turned the second act into a frosty picture of hell, slowly increasing the tragic intensity with lyric pull and drive towards Hillsdorf’s dramatic climax.


NRZ - 17/2/02

John Wegner is certainly the right man for the scintillating personality of the police chief.
A cultivated, handsome, successful character with a captivating presence, ennobled with
a markedly expressive baritone.