Jonathan Brandani Makes His Wagnerian Debut Conducting Das Rheingold at the Calgary Opera

23 Apr 2024

On the 20 April 2024, Jonathan Brandani, at the helm of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, made his Wagnerian debut conducting a sensational production of Das Rheingold for Calgary Opera.

After the great success of opening night, Kenneth DeLong from Calgary Herald wrote:

“While the singing is remarkably consistent and fine, it is the orchestra that frequently takes centre stage (in this case, quite literally), with Jonathan Brandani once again showing his remarkable abilities to get the best from the orchestra. Leading an enlarged CPO, Brandani led the orchestra in a beautiful realization of the score, the tempos expertly gauged, the big moments making their mark. The famous atmospheric opening and the majestic final pages all received their due, as did the music for the Nibelheim scenes. Less obvious but equally important was the treatment of the conversational element of the music, one that needs constant subtle nuance to make the verbal inflections seem natural. Here Brandani was as impressive in German opera as in the Italian operas he has previously conducted with the company.”

Brandani said, “Das Rheingold is epic, is monumental. It’s a transformative experience. The sound impact, the sheer energy that emanates from the massive orchestra and the powerful voices – particularly in this production, where the orchestra is on stage and singers are just a stone’s throw away from the hall – offer an immersive and yet intimate experience for the audience.”

A Calgary Opera première, remaining performances will run on April 24 and 26 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. More information and tickets are available here.

Photo Credit: Jenna Mahr