Tomasz Konieczny has been dazzling in Wagnerian roles on Austrian and German stages for years. On 9 March he made his debut at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera as Alberich in Das Rheingold. His performance was welcomed enthusiastically by the American critics.
‘The standout member of the cast was Tomasz Konieczny, a powerhouse bass, in a breakthrough Met debut as Alberich. I tend to prefer portrayals that bring out Alberich’s suffering and bitterness; with a big, penetrating voice that can slice through the orchestra, Mr. Konieczny made Alberich sneering and dangerous. Once he steals the gold, forges the magic ring and becomes the gods’ powerful nemesis, this Alberich dominated the rest of the opera, rather than, as usual, a stentorian Wotan.’ New York Times
‘The truth is that Konieczny conjured up one of the greatest Met performances of the season, creating a rich portrayal of a tragic figure who is scorned and rejected by those who feel themselves superior to him. Alberich, of course, wants to take over the world, making him the ultimate supervillain, but in Konieczny’s hands, he becomes not only a richer type of villain who we can identify with, but also deeply sympathize with as well. In fact, that is what made the production all the more unforgettable.’ OperaWire
‘In the end, it was the vocal performances that carried the day. Most impressive was the stunning debut of Tomasz Konieczny as Alberich, who showed a complete vocal and dramatic transformation in his character over the course of the afternoon. Beginning as a sickly, awkward creature with a barky sound as he tried to woo the Rhinemaidens, he became a terrifying villain after forging the ring, with a robust, crackling bass-baritone. Konieczny’s booming proclamation of Alberich’s curse was harrowing.’ New York Classical Review
Konieczny is Alberich in two other parts of the Der Ring, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, at the Met in April and May.
He also sings the Premiere Prelude: Moniuszko’s Symphonic Songbook at the Teatr Wielki, Warsaw on 6 June. Do not miss!
(photo: Metropolitan Opera, New York)