[Met Performance] CID:282160
Der Rosenkavalier {299} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/9/1985.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 9, 1985


DER ROSENKAVALIER {299}

Octavian.....................Brenda Boozer
Princess von Werdenberg......Gwyneth Jones
Baron Ochs...................Artur Korn
Sophie.......................Kathleen Battle
Faninal......................GŁnther Reich
Annina.......................Claudia Catania
Valzacchi....................Robert Nagy
Italian Singer...............Dano Raffanti
Marianne.....................Loretta Di Franco
Mahomet......................Efrain Bracero
Princess' Major-domo.........Andrea Velis
Orphan.......................Barbara Bystrom
Orphan.......................Mary Fercana
Orphan.......................Karol Teiko
Milliner.....................Linda Mays
Animal Vendor................John Hanriot
Hairdresser..................Sam Cardea
Notary.......................James Courtney
Leopold......................Erbert Aldridge
Lackey.......................Frank Coffey
Lackey.......................Ross Crolius
Lackey.......................Richard Firmin
Lackey.......................Dennis Steff
Faninal's Major-domo.........Michael Best
Innkeeper....................Charles Anthony
Police Commissioner..........Spiro Malas

Conductor....................James Levine

Review of Martin Mayer in Opera (UK)

All grumbling was stilled on October 9, however, when Levine conducted the most beautiful "Der Rosenkavalier" it has ever been my privilege to hear, and I go back to Fritz Busch and Szell and Reiner and Kempe. The detailing of the score in the orchestra was nothing less than astonishing: all night long I was hearing bits I did not know were there (piccolo phrases, timpani beats, a solo cello passage) in a piece I thought I knew. Without for a moment losing the pulse or yielding to schmalz, Levine played with the piece lovingly, oh-so-carefully, retarding here, accelerating there, swelling, whispering, blaring, caressing. I don't think I have ever seen a New York audience so quietly enraptured as the crowd that sat dead silent, not a cough in the house, as Levine made something more than it really is out of the little ditty of the lovers at the end of the opera. We all hated to have it end.

The news was Brenda Boozer's first Octavian at the house. There will be many more. The voice is huge and handsome throughout its large range; the appearance is correctly boyish; the ability to concentrate and act through a long evening (almost all of it on stage) is most impressive. Gwyneth Jones, carefully in control except for one unfortunate moment at the start of the trio, was a very moving and, of course, beautiful Marschallin. Kathleen Battle was a satisfying Sophie, though in general just a little small scale. Artur Korn was a standard-issue lecherous Ochs; GŁnter Reich was a wonderful Faninal, and Loretta Di Franco sang Marianne's announcement of Rofrano's arrival as well as I have ever heard in an opera house; and it's hard, too. Someone, the producer Bruce Donnell or the assistant stage director Pamela McRae, did a bang-up job of getting the cast fully in character and always related to each other. Congratulations all round, but I don't imagine anyone involved will resent the first cut to Levine.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).