NOEL MANGIN as Hunding by Seattle Opera published on 2014/05/22 06:03:28 +0000 When Noel Mangin was costumed as Fafner, or Hunding, or Hagen, he looked convincingly scary. And his dark, sonorous bass conveyed genuine menace. But offstage, the New Zealand-born bass was “a gigantic, sympathetic teddy bear,” according to Glynn Ross. In addition to his "Ring" villains, Ross hired Mangin to sing Leporello to the Don Giovanni of Sherrill Milnes, Basilio in "Il barbiere di Siviglia," Swallow in "Peter Grimes," and Count Rodolfo in "La sonnambula." Mangin followed Ross to Arizona Opera when Ross took on the general directorship there. The two were fast friends; Mangin phoned Ross from the hospital to say farewell before he died in 1997 at the age of 63. Mangin was justifiably proud of the O.B.E. he was awarded in 1981, following years with the Sadler’s Wells Opera and the Hamburg Staatsoper prior to beginning a freelance career. He had an incredible 189 roles in his repertoire, of which the most performed were Don Pasquale, Baron Ochs, and Osmin (which he recorded twice). During his years on the Continent, Mangin was widely considered to be “Europe’s leading emergency bass,” able to learn or revise a role in an amazingly short time. Here, from the year of his debut (1977), Mangin sings Hunding’s challenge to the stranger who has demanded hospitality: I know a quarrelsome race; they do not respect what we revere; They are hated by all men—and me. I heard a summons to vengeance: Death to the stranger who killed our kin! Too late came I, but now that I’m home, I find that stranger here; he sought my house for his rest. My house guards you, Wölfing, this day; for the night, stay here and rest. But find some weapons to serve you tomorrow; I choose the day for the fight: You’ll pay me blood for their blood. (to his wife) Go from the room! Why are you here! Prepare my drink for the night, and wait for me in there. Translation by Andrew Porter. Henry Holt conducts the orchestra of Seattle Opera. Photo by Chris Bennion.