Q&A with Voigt and Morris | New Faces of the Ring
The Challenges of Singing Wagner's Ring | The Ring Minisite
You both sang your first full Ring cycles here at the Met a year ago and had such amazing chemistry…
Jay Hunter Morris Debbie and I went through this big life event together! First Ring cycles, new production, new roles, millions of words and hard tunes and the Met, and HD cameras up close catching every drip and twitch… It was big, it was important. And she took my hand and we interlocked our arms and we didn’t let go. She makes me a better performer. She looks me in the face, she listens, she sings to me, not around me. She’s just got something special and we all know it, and I’m the luckiest guy ever to get to take this journey with Debbie by my side.
Deborah Voigt We did have an immediate chemistry—and we really like each other! I’m so looking forward to that again. Jay is such a wonderful colleague, onstage and off!
What are you most excited about, returning to this production?
DV Being part of this monumental and stunning staging by Robert Lepage is a thrill. I admire it so much, and I’m proud to be part of it. When the music and drama of Wagner are expressed in this way, through this exciting production, it’s a deeply meaningful experience, and I’m looking forward to living that again for a few weeks this spring.
JHM Last year I was smothered in support and love by the audience at the Met and the viewers and fans from the HD broadcasts. I have ingested every kind word and gesture and I am so grateful. And I’m so thrilled to come back and sing with Maestro Fabio Luisi and this amazing orchestra and these colleagues and this set. I love it, I can’t wait to get back up there and try again! But the one thing I’m most looking forward to, my very favorite theatrical moment—lying dead on that stage, hearing my funeral march played by the Met Orchestra. Can you imagine?
Is there anything in particular you want to focus on, or try out, with your interpretations this time around?
JHM I’ve got a very long list of things I want to do better. I’m working hard on my singing, I want to sing with more confidence, more ease, more poise. More beauty. I don’t have to be the loudest guy in the room, but I’d better be smart all night long.
DV Yes, the pacing, both vocally and dramatically, especially in Götterdämmerung, is something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to…
Is it easier coming back to these operas now, with the experience of that first run under your belts?
DV Obviously, it’s a bit more comfortable. The first time around in any new role is challenging, but if it’s Brünnhilde—multiply that by about a thousand. I’d say that the first-time layer of terror is gone, but she’s still not to be taken for granted.
JHM I know I can do it now, and that is so valuable. I’m hoping this year to leave those fears and concerns behind and go boldly but wisely into every phrase I sing. —Edited by Philipp Brieler
This interview was first published online in March 2013 and in the Met’s Playbill in April 2013.