New Zealander Simon O’Neill is now one of the world’s leading Wagnerian tenors. And I bet most of you didn’t even know that.
Here he is singing “Wintersturme,” from Act I of Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure (part of Wagner’s famous “Ring Cycle”), sung at the 2008 Ravello Festival in Italy. The woman he’s making love to is the amazing Waltraute Meier; conducting him is Daniel Barenboim; and playing for him is the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—an orchestra made entirely of musicians from both Israel and Palestine.
Not a bad place to be be for a boy from Ashburton.
(Another one-NZ-music-post-per-day for NZ Music Month.)
PS: Here’s Part 1 of a short doco on Simon done when he was understudying Placido Domingo at The Met a few years ago in the role he’s now singing around the world as lead. Naturally, it’s called ‘The Understudy.’