Jeff Smith noon, July 25
When Der Rosenkavalier opens on April 3rd, it will be interesting to see how the San Diego audience responds.
Rosenkavalier is a great big ol' piece of music. The San Diego production is scheduled to run four hours, including two intermissions.
The set is from San Francisco Opera and is supposed to be an exact replica of the original 1911 production.
There are four moments in the opera that stand out musically from the rest.
The Italian Singer's aria, the presentation of the rose, the final trio, and the final duet are four of the most wonderful musical events we can find in any opera anywhere.
However, Richard Strauss is a composer who writes the most sublime and the most ridiculous music at the same time.
Is that to say Der Rosenkavalier is ridiculous? Of course not. It is inconsistent and it can ramble on at times.
Personally I would listen to four hours of anything if I got to hear the final trio and duet of Rosenkavalier.
Adding to the musical challenges of producing Rosenkavalier is the cancellations.
Anja Harteros, who was last heard in 2004 as Violetta in La Traviata, canceled as The Marschallin.
A San Diego favorite, Ferruccio Furlanetto, also canceled as Baron Ochs. His subsequent replacement also cancelled.
Twyla Robinson as Marschallin and Andrew Greenan as Ochs are pleasing singers who should fill in admirably.
There is a bit of luxurious casting with Stephen Costello singing the role of The Italian Singer.
Costello is the most exciting young tenor I've heard. He appeared as Romeo last season and will star as Faust later this season.
Rosenkavalier is rarely presented on the West Coast and should not be missed.
Pavarotti as The Italian Singer.