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Monday, 18 June 2018

The development of Klaus Florian Vogt's voice and singing

I became aware of Klaus Florian Vogt at some point in the late 2000s, certainly after his career-defining performance as Lohengrin in Baden-Baden, Germany which was recorded and produced for DVD

DVD cover, Lohengrin 2006, Baden-Baden

In 2009 I saw him in a recital in honour of German Wagnerian conductor Hans Wallat, in 2010 as Parsifal in Geneva, followed by a recital with Orchestra in Hamburg in March 2011, then the recital at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in early July 2011, conducted by Peter Schneider, which formed the basis of Vogt's first CD, Helden. This was followed by a production of Die Walküre with Vogt as Siegmund in Barcelona in 2014, and in the same year his recital with the Birmingham City Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons, with excerpts of Lohengrin and Parsifal. In 2016 Lohengrin in Düsseldorf, and 2018 Lohengrin in London.

Covent Garden Production of Lohengrin, 2018

It is interesting to have been able, over the years, to observe the development of this exceptional singer's exceptional voice. It is a development of craft, skill, and artistry, in relation to the natural development of the instrument of the voice. Vogt combines gift, talent, hard work and care and caution in the expansion of his repertory of roles. When Vogt sang his early Lohengrin, that was the only way he could sing it, given the nature of his voice as it was then. The voice has changed. It has become stronger, more rounded, richer, particularly in the lower register. It is this development which enabled Vogt to add Siegmund to his repertory inrecital in 2011, and in a full production in 2012, and Tannhäuser in 2017. Moreover, it has allowed him, over the years, to refine the way he uses his voice. The sounds of Lohengrin, in the first few years of his singing this role, came to a large extent spontaneously and could not have come in any different way. He has allowed his voice to develop in line with its own needs and scope. At the current stage in his career, he is therefore able to consciously shape and mould each sound as he produces it precisely as he wishes, while at the same time making the result of his intention appear natural and spontaneous. Vogt's rendering of Lohengrin's grail narration, "In fernem Land", towards the end of the opera, from productions over the years, supports my impression.

Baden-Baden, 2006

Berlin, 2011 (conducted by Peter Schneider)

Vienna, September 2016 (starts at 3:21:42)

By now, 2018, after the exposure to singing Tannhäuser in 2017, Vogt's ability of consciously shaping the singing of Lohengrin has increased further, as has the art of making it sound spontaneous.

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