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Julian Close "outstanding" as Hagen in Longborough Festival Opera's "Götterdämmerung"

"Julian Close is an outstanding Hagen, whose bass is so rich, firm and powerful that it becomes easy to forget just how much flexibility and prowess is required to deliver his lines with such apparent ease. He skilfully presents Hagen as a figure who has been totally numbed by being born with no love, and with the sole aim of obtaining the ring. He is constantly seen observing all of the action, as he seeks to engineer events, maximise his opportunities and take his moment, and he delivers ‘Hier sitz ich zur Wacht’ as if in a trance. When Alberich, sung well by Freddie Tong, appears to him in his sleep, Hagen is swigging from a bottle, which makes total sense for one who hates his own existence so much. This sets up an interesting dynamic between the disconsolate son and the obsessed father, who has now gone far beyond looking completely dishevelled as he did in Siegfried to appearing entirely gnawed away by envy."

"Julian Close's superb Hagen is one of the two roles anchoring the psychological complexity. Close sang with huge, effortless voice, and from his first appearance, manipulating the marital prospects of Gunther and Gutrune, you never doubted that calamity had entered the Gibichung court. This Hagen embodied wickedness and was magnificent." — Classical Source


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