One of the best news of the month is that Elīna Garanča will be back on stage by the end of the year. By giving priority to he family and the birth of her second child, we have been missing her a lot from the opera scenes around the world. So now it is official, she will be back just before Christmas. And that is good news!
The Knight of the Rose by Richard Strauss, what a comeback!
The amazing thing with Elīna Garanča is that she will always surprise you by the outstanding choices she makes. You might always find her where you would not expect. And at the end, you realize that she always does the right choices. So after all this time being away you could imagine her coming back for a more conservative role. No, this would mean you do not know the daring personality of Elīna Garanča.
For her return, she will play the role of Count Octavian Rofrano in the fascinating The Knight of the Rose from Richard Strauss. And she has chosen an Opera house that she likes, the Deutche Oper Berlin.
Being the first successful Comic opera from Richard Strauss, it remains an icon of the genre.
The Rosenkavalier begins in the bedroom of the Marschallin of Werdenberg, where the 32-year-old princess has spent a passionate night with 17-year-old Octavian. The marschallin’s pleasure is mixed, for she knows that Octavian will soon seek a younger lover. She appoints Octavian to take a silver betrothal rose to a young girl, Sophie, on behalf of her country relative, Baron von Lerchenau, and the two teenagers fall in love. Sophie’s angry father orders her to a convent, but Octavian, determined to win her hand, concocts a scheme to discredit the baron. Comic confusion reigns until the marschallin appears and reestablishes order, forgiving Octavian and nobly pushing him into Sophie’s arms. (Source: infoplease.com)
Having a Mezzo-Soprano singing a male leading role
What is interesting for such a great performer as Elīna Garanča to play one of the leading male roles is her voice of course. She is what modern classic music would describe as a Mezzo-Soprano lyric. This means that her central tessitura is between a Soprano and an Alto. She has beautiful
colors voice in the low register and a wide amplitude. Sometimes it can be darker and dramatic but never heavy.
Having such a voice on a male role can be challenging of course. Here, she is perfect as she will be challenging the role of a 17 year old passionate Count. Her voice will translate the power and the clarity of youth blending with such a passionate role. Richard Strauss has deliberately created the role of Octavian for a woman. He wished to bring a certain tension to the love-drama of “love someone who loves someone else who is loved by another
Person”. It brings freshness to the play and for sure highlights a certain modern style of this 1911 opera.
what can we expect from this opera ?
What is amazing with this opera is that the 3 main “feminine” roles have an amazing interaction and for some dialogs, they are purely genius.
Well, first things first. The opera will be conducted by Donald Runnicles. He is a very experimented conductor thanks to his appointments all over the world. From San Francisco to the BBC and lately at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. His style is precise, strong and he knows how to lead an orchestra!
In the leading roles, we have Michaela Kaune as the Marschallin or Princess Marie Thérèse de Werdenberg. She is young and talented and has been affiliated with the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 1997. She had gathered a strong experience as a Soprano and will be an interesting partner for Elīna Garanča. As Sophie, the true’s Octavian beloved, is Elena Tsallagova. This Russian Soprano is marked by the sophistication of Opera de Paris. She singed all major Operas, from Gilda to The Boheme. For the past 2 years she has been in contract with Deutsche Oper Berlin. These 3 roles are definitely the keystone for the love intrigue. Of course there will be a mot of comic scenes which will light up the ambiance. Last but not least, I would highlight the role of Baron Ochs Von Lerchenau played by Albert Pesendorfer. He already played more than 60 different roles, which is a complete achievement. His Bass voice will echo with the 3 sopranos. It might bring an interesting musicality landscape for the performance.
If you wish to know more about this amazing return of Elīna Garanča, please check the Deutsche Oper Berlin website here: http://www.deutscheoperberlin.de
For the return of such an amazing singer, only an amazing Opera could be possible.
Info sourced at Deutsche Oper Berlin website, Deutsche Grammophon, Wikipedia and the New York Times. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.