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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jane Eaglen


I had the privilege of seeing the great British soprano Jane Eaglen as Tosca back in 89-90 just as she was on the brink of stardom.  She was singing Tosca with the West Australian Opera and the evening was unforgettable.  She was electric as Tosca and her portrayal has certainly stuck with me all these years.

It was my second or final year at WAAPA (I cannot seem to remember exactly) and one of the things that has always remained in my memory over the years (apart from her singing) was her appearance in the bar after the performance ordering a pint of beer.  I think I loved her all the more for that!

She soon developed that huge voice of hers into something other Wagnerian sopranos could only dream of and quickly became one of the great Wagnerians of her generation.  Her Isolde is available from Met On Demand for viewing and her singing is ravishing.

Eaglen has recorded rather extensively, mostly in English, and her interpretations of Tosca, Norma, Aida, Turandot form the cornerstone of the Peter Moores Foundation series of operas recorded in English for the Chandos label.  She certainly proved herself worth of being the successor to Rita Hunter in this regard, continuing the tradition championed in the 70's and 80's by Goodall, Hunter and of course the English National Opera. 

Apart from the recordings in English we are fortunate to have a few recital discs recorded in their original language, notably her Bellini/Wagner, Mozart/Strauss and Italian Opera Aria albums, all truly worth a listen.

As a tribute to her brilliance and amazing talent on her birthday I thought it fitting to give you her recording of the Immolation Scene from Gotterdammerung.  Conducted by Mark Elder, La Eaglen shows here just how perfectly suited to the Hochdramatischer Soprano repertoire she was.  Her Salome is certainly something to hear as well, so what the hell, I'll include that too!  Jane Eaglen, I wish you the happiest of birthdays.



#HappyBirthday #Diva #Wagner #JaneEaglen #Valkyrie #Salome #OnThisDay

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