Magazine article Opera Canada

Sachsische Staatsoper Dresden

Magazine article Opera Canada

Sachsische Staatsoper Dresden

Article excerpt

In addition to the more popular Der Rosenkavalier, Arabella, Salome, Elektra and Capriccio, Sachsische Staatsoper Dresden mounted the relatively unfamiliar Daphne as part of its celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of composer Richard Strauss at the Semperoper last fall. This opera, given without an intermission, is rarely performed in part because of the impossible demands placed on the two tenor roles of Apollo and Leukippos, requiring heroic voices capable of ringing high Cs. Canadian heldentenor Lance Ryan is one of the few singers today capable of singing Apollo, and he did very well in the performance I saw on Nov. 15, combining striking stage presence with fearless vocalism at the top, albeit with occasional unsteadiness in his delivery. As Leukippos, Ladislav Elgr's more lyric tenor was pleasant to the ear. Christa Mayers contralto coped beautifully as Gaea, one of the lowest female roles in all of opera. Baritone Georg Zeppenfeld was excellent as Daphne's father, Peneios. As Daphne, Semperoper Ensemble soprano Maijorie Owens sang very well in a long role, offering plenty of power and beauty of tone. If anything, the American's budding dramatic soprano was a bit overpowering, lacking in an ethereal quality in the quieter moments, particularly in the last phrases of the transformation scene. …

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