Reviews

Die Walküre, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, 2024

”The Swedish singer Åsa Jäger, still unknown in Dresden, gave a compassionate, courageous and independent Wotan’s daughter Brünnhilde a defining structure with her dramatic soprano and top notes. At the beginning still carefree, almost childlike and youthful, she matured with her facial expressions, gestures and grandiose singing into an assertive broker of her interests and a humanly dominant character. With her authoritative demeanour, she brought Wotan to the brink of moral defeat and brought the concert to an overwhelming conclusion”. – Der Opernfreund – May 2024


“And then there is Åsa Jäger, probably the youngest Brünnhilde in the world at the moment. (…). The volume and warm timbre of her soprano alone, as well as the ease with which this young soprano mastered the most dramatic parts with confidence , triggered enthusiasm” – Oper! Magazin – May 2024


“Brünnhilde, for her part, was exemplary, with a voice that is fruity, fine and yet as powerful as the character requires: the Swedish Åsa Jäger showed qualities of purity of tone and controlled drama, far from the usual fury, that thrilled the audience”. – Concertclassic.com – May 2024


Die Walküre,  Elbphilharmonie, 2024

“Jäger’s sharp fifth is thunderous and truly thrilling in the cry of “Hojotoho,” launched like a silver arrow into the hall, and also in scintillating phrases at the end. But her performance is much more than that; it represents the ability to bring out the youthfulness of this virgin who is not only warlike, but also loving and deferential, even thoughtful towards her father.

Jäger is superb in the dramatic soprano middle register throughout the gentle processional crescendo of the Valkyrie’s solemn appearance to “those who are about to die” and then at the moment of Brünnhilde’s change of heart in the face of Siegmund’s fierce determination to rebel against Wotan’s proclamations.

In the final act Åsa Jäger reaches her peak. The length of the vocal line, crowned with crystalline treble, the well-timed bass, the art of deploying infinite softness on the word and the weight of its meaning. This is how Brünnhilde confronts Wotan, with his dilemmas, and provokes the ultimate reversal. As his favorite daughter, she knows how to make herself pleading before this inflexible father, adding the right dose of heroism to convince him of her status as a brave warrior, worthy of the “God of battles”. – Mundo Clasico – May 2024


“Soprano Åsa Jäger is the heart and soul of the performance in the great Hall”

“The central event of the evening takes place in this second act. Brünnhilde makes her entrance. The Swede Åsa Jäger comes, sings and wins all along the line. Her luminous soprano has no trouble asserting herself against the orchestra. Jäger can allow herself to add nuance at any time and understands the emotional experiences of Wotan’s favourite child”. – Hamburger Abendblatt – May 2024


“Åsa Jäger was simply stunning as Brünnhilde. She gave her role debut in 2022. The voice is very strong, projected with ease, firm across registers, with a more than solid basis that allows her to soar and float in the top notes. The timbre is warm overall, which allows her to open out to more metallic sounds at the top of the voice without ever sounding shrill or narrow”. – Seen and Heard International – May 2024


Der fliegende Holländer, Göteborgsoperan, 2024

“Her big voice is equalised overall and the attacks on the high notes travels through the orchestra like a welding flame. (…) Åsa Jäger is a dramatic Wagnerian soprano of the highest calibre, and an Isolde should be in the near future”. – Tidskriften Opera – March 2024


“Åsa Jäger shines in The Flying Dutchman”
 
 
“The Swedish audience should not miss this; this is a brightly shining star in the Wagnerian sky: passionate, clear with a beautiful dramatic tone”. – Svenska Dagbladet – February 2024

 
 
“Åsa Jäger’s blazing vocal interpretation represents a magnificent breakthrough as a Wagnerian singer on a major opera stage”. – Dagens Nyheter – February 2024

 
 
“Talk about Wagnerian potential! (…) It’s easy to get lost in the praise for this magnificent voice. It has natural space, volume and richness of colour; as soon as Åsa Jäger opens her mouth, she masters the stage.
 
It has been something of a tradition since Harry Kupfer’s legendary interpretation of the Dutchman in Bayreuth in 1978 to portray Senta as a hysteric for whom the Dutchman is merely a projection of her inner delusions. Åsa Jäger changes that. With such outstanding freshness in her voice, there is no room for hysteria. Her Senta becomes a kind of feminist triumph over all the dodgy men around her”. Aftonbladet – February 2024

 
“Åsa Jäger brings impressive weight to Senta. Hers is a Wagnerian voice with enormous promise and she is absolutely on top of it (…) She has the discipline and depth to leave power in reserve for when the drama ratchets up, and thrills in the final emotional torrents, staged with a literal beauty by Talevi”. – Opera Now – February 2024

 
“Åsa Jäger’s magnificent Wagnerian soprano is perfect for Senta, with excellent projection through her register, an attractive warm timbre and a very free top. She is also a subtle actor, believable in Senta’s teenage swings between obsessive certainty and vulnerbility. Her singing of Senta’s ballad was compelling, and she was no shrinking violet in her duets with the Dutchman. Jäger has already sung Brünnhilde in Germany and should have more Wagner roles soon after her terrific performance in Gothenburg”. – Seen and heard International – February 2024

 
“Yet the big star of the evening is Åsa Jäger as Senta. Her voice: its clarity and personality – her stage presence – her charisma. From the moment she takes the stage, you are completely immersed. The interplay in the opera’s duets between Senta and Erik, and between Senta and the Dutchman, is fantastic”. – Göteborgsposten – February 2024

 
“She has been under the radar for far too long, but is now finally on her way to the big roles in the world with her beautiful Wagnerian voice. So free, so rich and wonderfully flowing – this will be Sweden’s new Brünnhilde and Isolde”. – SVT Kultur – February 2024

 
“But now I come to the most impressive experience. Namely, a newly discovered singer: Åsa Jäger. She plays Daland’s daughter Senta, and she is now visiting the Gothenburg Opera for the first time. Please, readers, memorize the name Åsa Jäger, and remember where you first read about her. For you will hear about her again, rest assured. For a voice like Åsa Jäger’s is nothing but a pure pleasure to listen to. When she burst into her arias, it felt as if everything else in the Gothenburg Opera’s auditorium just ceased to exist. Her voice filled the entire auditorium with an awe-inspiring vocal experience, a voice that both penetrated and enveloped. I felt both pierced and wrapped in cotton. I am captivated. I have a new favorite”! – Scenkonstguiden – February 2024

 

Siegfried, Landestheater Coburg, 2023

”Here again, Åsa Jäger sang a robust, radiant Brünnhilde, whose seemingly inexhaustible vocal capacities were once again breathtaking”. – Bachtrack – March 2023


”Åsa Jäger’s Brünnhilde legitimises all possible scenic nonchalance. In “Die Walküre” she overwhelmed the audience by her pure vocal presence in the dramatic as well as in the heartfelt phrases, in “Siegfried” she repeats exactly this in “her” scene”. – Der Opernfreund – March 2023


”The Siegfried-Brünnhilde is probably the most difficult of the three Brünnhilde in “Der Ring des Nibelungen”: she has no warm-up phase, must be fully present right away in a challenging vocal range. Åsa Jäger, who already thrilled the Coburg audience as Walküre, shone again this time with her sovereign mastery of this short but difficult role. In addition to the glistening, explosive high notes, the soprano found a dramatically blossoming tone with depth of soul in the lyrical moments”.
 – Neue Presse – March 2023
 

 
”With the Swedish Åsa Jäger, a Brünnhilde with a phenomenal voice was on stage in Coburg”. – BR Klassik – March 2023
 

 
”This fired up both Åsa Jäger’s energetic as well as luminous Brünnhilde and the general music director Daniel Carter, whose performance in the revival scene with the Philharmonic Orchestra was increasingly lush and indulgent”. – Neue Musikzeitung – March 2023

 

Die Walküre, Landestheater Coburg, 2022

Alex Ross lists Notable performances and recordings of 2022:

”I spent much of May in Germany, exploring the country’s incomparable network of opera houses. The lesson is much the same as in the American orchestral field: bigger and richer is not necessarily better. In Coburg, a city of forty-one thousand, the young Swedish soprano Åsa Jäger took possession of the mighty role of Brünnhilde, her voice aglow with the confidence of arrival”. – The New Yorker – December 2022


“The vocal discovery of the night was the young Swedish soprano Åsa Jäger, who sang Brünnhilde with clarion tone, crisp diction, and infectious zest. This run of performances marks not only Jäger’s German début but also her début in any Wagner role. I suspect that later in her career she will look back fondly on Coburg, where her ascent began. The ultimate appeal of operagoing in Germany is to see a venerable art form experiencing continuous rebirth”. – The New Yorker – June 2022


 
 “(…)and with Åsa Jäger there is a great Brünnhilde on the small stage, which many larger houses should envy Coburg. So much tenderness with so much dynamic range and height, so much ladylike, yet youthful vocal elegance with so much dramatic sincerity: this is how a young Brünnhilde must sound”. – Der Opernfreund – June 2022
 

 
The cast of soloists is very well balanced with a mixture of in-house forces and a number of guests at a high level with many role debuts. Åsa Jäger as Brünnhilde impresses the premiere audience (…) with her assertive soprano and haunting interpretation (…). – Fränkischer Tag Kritik von Jochen Berger – April 2022
 

 
Among the guest soloists, one in particular stood out at the premiere: Åsa Jäger as Brünnhilde. The young Swede not only mastered the role (…) with remarkable verbal comprehensibility, but also sang her very first Hojotoho with such a lively lightness, confidence in the high notes and penetrating power that it was a real joy. She also succeeds in portraying a compelling role that requires concentration, strength, talent and courage. Bravura, a stroke of luck from a Wotan child!
– Bamberg Richard Wagner Verband – April 2022
 

 “First and foremost, we should mention the young Swedish soprano Åsa Jäger, who lets her luminous voice resound powerfully and expansively as the wild Valkyrie, only to let soft, lyrical tones be heard in the final touching dialogue with the father”. – Neue Presse – April 2022

 
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