Jonathan Finney is a valued viola player with St Albans Symphony (SASO). But on Saturday November 10th he will reveal another identity as operatic superhero, singing the role of Siegmund in a scene from Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle (7.30pm, St Saviour’s, Sandpit Lane, St Albans).
When Jonathan joined the orchestra two years ago after moving to Childwickbury, many of his colleagues were unaware of his professional career as an ‘heroic’ tenor. As a professional singer, he has performed the demanding roles of Siegfried, Tristan, Parsifal and Tannhauser in Wagner and appeared, among others, with Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera and the Edinburgh Players Opera Group. He has also made frequent solo appearances with choral societies throughout the UK, singing in venues that include London’s Royal Albert and Queen Elizabeth Halls, as well as St Martin in the Fields and St John’s Smith Square.
In SASO’s forthcoming concert he will be performing the passionate duet from Act 1 of The Valkyrie, in which Siegmund and Sieglinde declare their love, only later realising they are brother and sister. Other dramatic events include the thrilling moment when Siegmund seizes an enchanted sword that Wotan, leader of the gods, has left buried in a tree.
The role of Sieglinde will be sung by Kimberley Myers, a prize-winning soprano who is also of a Wagner specialist. Her roles have included Isolde in Tristan and Isolde and Brünnhilde in three of the Ring Cycle operas: The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods. She has performed as a guest artist with Welsh National Opera and appeared with Scottish Opera and the Edinburgh Players Opera Group, also making appearances at the Aldeburgh and St Endellion Festivals.
Brünnhilde, the warrior woman who gives her name to the opera, will not be appearing in person. However, the rousing music that Wagner wrote for the arrival of her sisters on flying horses will be heard when the orchestra play the celebrated prelude to Act 3: The Ride of the Valkyries.
SASO, under its principal conductor Bjorn Bantock, will also perform the Symphony No 2 by Sibelius. A century ago in the composer’s native Finland, the symphony’s rugged beauty and stirring themes were associated with the struggle for independence from Russia. It has since become a firm favourite with concert audiences throughout the world.
Tickets price £14 (nave) and £10 (aisle) are available from the SASO Ticket Secretary (01727 857422) firstname.lastname@example.org and on the door; or online from www.allaboutstalbans.com (booking fee applies).