Richard Wagner Rienzi Der Letzte der Tribunen Leipzig Gewandhaus Axel Kober
Wagner’s Rienzi is an opera that rarely gets produced by major opera companies.
Wagner did not flash the opera around as he was not proud of it. Another fact this opera did not get performed so often is because Hitler owned the autographed score and the score was ruined in 1945. Most critics deem this opera along with Die Feen and Das Liebesverbot as Italian in flavour. But, the operas canot be passed off as immature even though Wagner never thought them fit enough to be performed even once at the Bayreuth Festivals. Even after his death, his widow, Cosima continued in the same spirit and never had the operas performed there. Thanks to this bicentennial year of his birth. We are seeing all his operas come to light. Another technical reason why Rienzi is so rarely performed is because the title role is rather difficult to sing. Rienzi's Prayer in Act V is extremely difficult to perform. It seems that the Aria was written for a kind of tenor who is nothing short of a singing machine. This famous aria has been recorded earlier by a famous tenor, Lauritz Melchior. He recorded it at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in the 1930s and again in London in the 1940s.
The opera starts with fantastic brass in the overture with the triumphant trumpet signalling in. I have finally seen this full opera now in my fifty seventh year.