SIMON ESTES as Hagen by Seattle Opera published on 2014/05/22 06:03:29 +0000 American bass-baritone Simon Estes was Seattle Opera’s first black Wagnerian, when he sang Hagen in the company’s third complete “Ring” cycle in 1977. The following year, Estes would make his Bayreuth debut, as the Flying Dutchman; later Wagner roles for Estes include Landgraf Hermann in “Tannhäuser,” King Henry in “Lohengrin,” King Marke in “Tristan und Isolde,” Amfortas in “Parsifal,” and Wotan in “The Ring.” His Met career included such highlights as singing Amonasro at Leontyne Price’s farewell appearance as Aida, and singing Porgy in the belated Met premiere of Gershwin’s masterpiece. Here, from Estes’ 1977 Seattle appearance, from the English-language performance, Hagen summons the Gibich Vassals: Hoiho! Hoihohoho! You Gibich vassals, answer my call. Waken! Waken! Weapons! Weapons! Weapons through the land! Bring your weapons, lordly weapons! Sharp and bright! Foes are here! Foes! Waken! Waken! Hoiho! Hoihohoho! Translation by Andrew Porter. Henry Holt conducts the orchestra of Seattle Opera. Photo by Chris Bennion.