AUGUST 11, 1997
Spend a night in Vienna with 'Der Rosenkavalier'
by Deborah Stone
Seattle Opera's season opener "Der Rosenkavalier" is a feast for the senses with its lavish costumes, elegant period sets and magnificent musical score. Performed by a stellar cast whose voices resonate with strength and passion, "Der Rosenkavalier" captivates the audience
In this well-woven plot, famed American soprano Nadine Secunde sings the role of Marschallin with heartfelt expression as she confronts the realities of aging. Austrian mezzo-soprano, Angelika Kirchschlager, makes her U.S. opera debut with the male role of Octavian, the youthful lover of Marschallin. Kirchschlager's voice is impressive and she makes a high-spirited Octavian who falls in love with two women.
Although women have often been given young male roles in opera, the image of a woman, however costumed, demonstrating her love to another woman may be disconcerting to some opera goers. The part of Sophie, the young enchanting woman who falls in love with Octavian, is sung by American soprano Jane Giering-De Haan with sweet innocence and charm.
Adding the comedic element to the cast is Helmut Berger-Tuna who sings the role of Baron Ochs. He is full of bluster and conceit, an ill-bred lout who thinks of himself as a Don Juan.
Gerard Schwartz of the Seattle Symphony conducted the orchestra with perfection. Special recognition goes to gifted Austrian set and costume designer Bruno Schwengl, who transplanted the audience into Old World Vienna with all its splendor.
"Der Rosenkavalier" runs through Aug. 23. For ticket information call 389-7676 or Ticketmaster at 292-ARTS.