k r i t i k e n   . .   m u s i k t h e a t e r




Richard Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen at Royal Opera House London as Alberich with John Lundgren as Wotan ©2018 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper


Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen, Royal Opera House, London 2018
(I: Warner, D: Pappano)

Das Rheingold

The Art Desk:
The appearance of Johannes Martin Kränzle as Alberich set the tone for the drama to come. This Alberich is as comical and inept as he is malign, constantly active, often sarcastic, and usually verging on maniacal. Kränzle gave the finest performance in the show. He is a magnetic stage presence, and totally believable in every situation: whether crudely flirting with Rhinemaidens here, acting the mad professor in the Nibelheim scene, or the simpering hostage later on, it is all utterly convincing. Add to that a powerful but infinitely flexible and varied baritone voice, and you’ve got the whole package – one of the great Wagnerians of our times.

The Guardian: (Rheingold)
Johannes Martin Kränzle is an irresistible Alberich – imagine Marilyn Manson crossed with Thomas Gradgrind – chewing on the German text and expressive to the nastiest outer reaches of his tone.

MusicOMH: (Rheingold)
Johannes Martin Kränzle is brilliant as Alberich, transforming convincingly from a comically frustrated chaser of the Rhinemaidens to a single-minded pursuer of power. Most notable is the way in which he can demonstrate such a detached cruelty when in charge, and yet still arouse considerable sympathy when he is fooled and toppled.

Whats On Stage: (Rheingold)
Oke and Kränzle, by contrast, made such magnetic antagonists that disbelief wasn't just suspended, it was throttled. As the fiery Loge in a flowing red wig Oke banished all thoughts of his tortured Britten characters and scorched the stage with gleeful energy; and Kränzle, last seen at Covent Garden as Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger, sang Alberich like a buffo villain yet always threatened danger.

Evening Standard:
Johannes Martin Kränzle offers a superbly nuanced portrayal of Alberich.

The Times (Rheingold):
The new Alberich, Johannes Martin Kränzle, had a frightening fury, with a requiste hint of pathos.

The Independent:
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s cruelly charismatic Alberich is ably supported by Gerhard Siegel as his rebelliously downtrodden brother Mime.

Classical Music Daily:
Johannes MArtin Kränzle's Alberich was notably expressive.

The Observer:
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich, contrary to type, towers over his subjects with reptilian zeal, far from the brutish figure he can sometimes be, yet convincing in his grubby, angry fanaticism.

Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich is everything his 2017 Beckmesser suggested it might be – carefully characterised, a sympathetic portrait of obsession and neurosis, of thwarted ambition and desire.

Theatre Reviews- Mark Ronan:
Johannes Martin Kränzle as Alberich made a great impact in Rheingold, remaining an engagingly dark vocal force throughout.

Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich resonated evil.

The Times (Siegfried):
Around them are as characterful a bunch of Wagnerian baddies as you could hope to find. Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich, cackling with glee, parades the most sinister paralysed-arm routine since Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove.

Music OMH (Götterdämmerung):
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich was as impressive as ever.

John Lungrens Wotan was well matched to Johannes Martin Kränzle’s wordly-wise, sharp-tongued dwarf.

WhatsOn Stage (Siegfried):
Also back for more are Brindley Sherrat as Fafner together with Johannes Martin Kränzle as the malign Alberich and Wiebke Lehmkuhl in her second appearance as the Earth Goddess, Erda. All are very fine indeed, appropriately cast and in prime vocal form.

The Times (Götterdämmerung):
Johannes Martin Kränzle was a wrathful Alberich.

The Guardian (Ring-Cycle):
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Alberich, contrary to type, towers over his subjects with reptilian zeal, far from the brutish figure he can sometimes be, yet convincing in his grubby, angry fanaticism.