Das ist kein Mann!

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday, 27 May 2019 | 9:51:00 am

If there is one line in the whole of the Ring that can produce unintended laughter, muffled or not, it is Siegfried's "Das ist kein Mann!" [Ed: for the uninitiated: "This is no man!" The rather innocent Siegfrieds first words upon removing the sleeping Brunnhilde's breastplate - he has just "rescued her from the circle of magic fire that had surrounded her.)  A line seemingly designed to trick the unsuspecting. new heldentenor. Especially, if they do not have a firm conductor or director. Or on opening night they ignore the warnings. Over the years we have seen different performers, tackle this line much differently. From the most heroic sounding, to "let's just do this quickly" (Ed: Or in the case of  Christian Franz "you really want me to sing this?)

All of this made us think it would be interesting to compare some of the greats. And thanks to Youtube, we find this much easier than you might imagine. Geeky? Without doubt. Nerdy? Would we be Wagnerians otherwise? But intriguing nevertheless. It also helps compare different conductors approach to the Ring. We fully understand if this little article is of limited appeal.  Although, it may introduce you to a recorded Ring you may not have previously considered.

But without further explanation, we give you: "Das ist kein Mann!" or "How do I sing that without generating titters". And yes, before you ask, we really do occasionally spend time doing this sort of thing.