Simon O’Neill: Wagner Scenes and Arias

Simon O’Neill
Wagner Scenes and Arias
EMI

O’Neill, the new heldentenor on the block, has sung pleasingly every time I’ve heard him – the latest being when he took over the title role of “Otello” at short notice in concert performances with Colin Davis and the LSO.

Here, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, he tackles Lohengrin’s “In fernem Land” and the gentler scenes from “Parsifal” and “The Ring” (no “Forging Song”). The voice is well captured: it may not be big but he uses it with precision and taste. The words come across clearly. What’s lacking is a sense of tension, freedom, abandon.

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