How to sing Wagner with Gwyneth Jones (The Royal Opera)

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Join renowned Wagnerian soprano Dame Gwyneth Jones as she coaches David Butt Philip playing the part of Siegmund in the Wintersturme from Act 1 of Wagner’s Die Walküre.

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43 thoughts on “How to sing Wagner with Gwyneth Jones (The Royal Opera)

  1. Christopher Michael Kelley says:

    Just so you know, this aria is sung by Siegmund, not Siegfried. Siegfried is not in Die Walküre. Somebody should correct that in the description.

    1. Royal Opera House says:

      Thanks Christopher – good spot. It’s corrected now.

  2. She has an exceptionally good German pronounciation – I know that she spent some years in Zurich, but still it’s very lovely to hear as some words of this aria are very difficult to pronounce if you are not used to it. 

  3. skyeomania says:

    love it!
    where can I see the videos advertised at the end of this one – I mean Dame Gwyneth talking about her life and career?

    1. Maggie Cheng says:

      Indeed. This is a wonderful video.
      I also hope the ROH can upload more excerpts from Dame Gwyneth’s masterclass, as she’s such a source of inspiration!

    2. Royal Opera House says:

      Hi skyeomania,
      The interview film is currently being edited and should be uploaded in the next week. In the meantime, we’ve just uploaded another masterclass.

  4. John Schofield says:

    Bravo, great voice and a great maestra!!!Bravo!!!

  5. skyeomania says:

    still waiting for the interview footage…

  6. culturehorse says:

    Nice. So where is the link to the full masterclass? Can it be shared/posted? Bravo/a.

  7. doktorlehar says:

    This and the other Gwyneth Jones master class clip (with Elisabeth Meister) are really remarkable.  Based on them, Jones should be giving more master classes.  He starts out very good, but after a few precise instructions from her, he’s damn thrilling at the end.  The voice is freer, more resonant, and seemingly bursting with energy.  None of this vague discussion of placement and resonance, but precise instruction about where to put your tongue and how to hold your neck.  

    Jones is firmly directive in a way that contrasts interestingly with the more touchy-feely pep talk banter of younger sopranos.  I adore her!

  8. She is brilliant as an instructor, and she was brilliant in her Wagner roles!

  9. operabilia says:

    The tenor has a splendid voice with a beautiful natural color and by sticking to the right repertoire he should be able to make something interesting with his great instrument. And Dame Jones is as always her very regal self and her advice is precious. She is one of the last exponents of the not-so-recent operatic golden age.

  10. Robert Lee says:

    Why do Wagner tenors always have this vibrato that goes sharp like Burt Larr in Wizard of Oz. This young man has such a beautiful voice but when he gets toward the top or close to the passaggio, it goes totally quavery and out of tune. Why? And it sounds like a voice darker than a tenor. I can’t imagine his going to a C. Would be very tight and caught.

    1. josephespratt says:

      Its because he’s pushing the sound to try and create volume.

    2. Sorry, you’re hearing things that exist only in your imagination.

    3. Magic Suits You says:

      He also was originally a baritone according to research, and then later trained as a tenor. So that could be possibly why.

  11. boeser wolf says:

    His German pronuciation is actually pretty good, only too bad that he’s got a terrible set of English teeth ….

  12. metropolitan1966 says:

    This tenor is a really tall young man.  Must be 6’5″ at the least. I remember Dame Gwyneth being at least as tall as I am when I met her years ago and I’m 6’2″.

    1. metropolitan1966 says:

      +Dave Glo Yes really. She was not petite by any means. I definitely remember her being as tall as I am. Of course, she was wearing heels but I remember the meeting well as I’m looking at the two autographed photos she gave me that day. My goodness, she did have a powerful voice!!

    2. Jose Abraham says:

      +Dave Glo I am on a Gwyneth Jones spree right now so I’m watching a lot of her videos, anyway I’m so glad to learn you and your wife are back together or is this a different one? 🙂

    3. metropolitan1966 says:

      Ha! Yes they do. I’m living proof of it. I was 6’2″ when I met Dame Gwyneth a quarter century ago and now I’m 6 feet exactly.

    4. metropolitan1966 says:

      I saw that picture you speak of. She seems to be wearing flats. When I met her years ago (1994) I distinctively remember her wearing beige heels and this would have made her nearly as tall as I was then. I also remember being amazed by her large bone structure and wide shoulders (where that awesome lung power emanated) and feminine grace but almost masculine frame, especially for a woman and this accounts, possibly, for my recalling her as not being petite in any respect. At the Trovatore the night before, I went backstage and met Delora Zajick, now she was a short portly thing, surprisingly. Much shorter than I remember Dame Gwyneth. Those were powerhouse voices, indeed. I will never forget the impact that their voices made in the theater. Millo, who sang Leonora to Zajick’s Azucena, sounded like a choirboy when compared with Zajick, in terms of volume. Those were the days.

  13. What a promising tenor! These scene is so beautiful until you realize it’s about incest.

    1. mizzothify mizzothifi says:

      this scene continues to be beautiful even after you realize it’s about incest … 🙂

  14. Rob White says:

    …she gave good tips for keeping the throat clear and he sang better for it.

  15. I don’t like how she fixates his mouth and head position. It’s going to inhibit his expression. But fine, he’ll be standing there with a stiff neck and bore his audience to death. He’ll need an hour with DiDonato after this.

  16. !mrdunn brucvald says:

    Everything about him says ‘comprimario’……I’m not trying to be mean at all…
    There’s no way i would sit through this in a production. She says , ‘wonderful!’
    The instrument is small and dry; he has no beauty or virility…Siegmund? please….
    Sieglinde would have gone back to bed with Hunding…..

    1. !mrdunn brucvald says:

      He shouldn’t be. Just listened again. I stand by my comments. Here in NYC the general taste at the MET is often (not always) dreadful also. Wow…’the powers that be’ everywhere really out to get their act together….
      Actually, Gwyneth’s career reputation is also somewhat of a mystery to me….
      Not wild ’bout her voice. Good actress though…..

  17. mizzothify mizzothifi says:

    Watch your vibrato, young man!!! And keep your voice light!!

    1. HammondDER says:

      The most stupid comment possible.

    2. mizzothify mizzothifi says:

      +HammondDER Just wait and see … or listen, rather!

    3. Torbjorn Stalberg says:

      And Besserwisser is written with four “s”. He is not singing Monteverdi in a 1980’s choir.

  18. HammondDER says:

    Simply the WEAKEST (except Fogt) operatic voice I’ve ever heard. This is light tenor who tries to sing Helden’s repertoire.

  19. Richard Bates says:

    like the sound, though I do worry about his over groomed eyebrows ….!

  20. george prentice says:

    I just loved watching this very talented tenor and Dame Gwyneth was a delight!

  21. Charlie Charlie says:

    she is so so so lovely, amazing artist and lovely Lady.

  22. Raúl Alejandro Facundo Gòmez says:

    I got annoyed on how much he interrupted her … uggh the talking back when she would interrupt. I just have a thing for people that talk back by trying to show they know, when in fact it shows he’s not really listening.
    anyways just my opinion.

  23. Great moments of opera says:

    God she is so precise. She knows exactly what she is talking about. Wish she did more masterclasses (she did develop a huge wobble later in her career, so perhaps she the technical expertise was gained later because of this?)

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