Published by: Anne McMahan, Thursday, December 05, 2013
On Thanksgiving weekend, fourteen PFO opera lovers traveled to the Metropolitan Opera to see and hear Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Some of us traveled by very crowded train and subway, and the hectic hurry was all part of the fun, as was supper afterwards in a nearby restaurant.
But the main event was the memorable reward of a beautiful performance of this quintessential Viennese opera, always a nostalgic experience for this reporter, who spent five years in Vienna. All the soloists were wonderful, headed by the Marschallin, radiantly sung by the Viennese soprano Martina Serafin. And Westminster was represented on stage by two sopranos in secondary roles: Ellen Lang, formerly of the voice faculty, and Jennifer Check, a 1997 alumna.
Wendy Heller's lecture in October featured for us the final trio and love duet as a high point of soaring vocal outpouring, to which I would add the Presentation of the Rose scene, with Alice Coote as Octavian and Erin Morley as Sophie.
Yes, we love and appreciate all great music--art song, symphony, chorus--but sometimes only an opera like Rosenkavalier will satisfy that need for the emotional release of a few sentimental tears!
(The photo is of Joyce DiDonato performing Octavian at the Santa Fe Opera in 2007. PFO members will hear her in recital this spring at Princeton University.)