Richard Strauss - Arabella
So you may have heard me spout forth about the fact that I think Richard Strauss wrote some of the most extraordinary music for the female voice. Ever. And you're yet to prove me wrong. So to honour the 80th anniversary of the premiere I give you yet another example.
While I do agree with you that Lisa Della Casa, pictured above for those playing at home, is undoubtedly the supreme exponent of the title role of Arabella during the Twentieth Century (endorsed by the Composer himself no less) I happened upon the video below. It reminded me that the opera's popularity over the past few years, especially in Europe, has seen it remain somewhat marginally in the repertoire.
Kiri Te Kanawa was the perfect choice for this role during the 80's and 90's. She is a brilliant exponent of Strauss heroines, her creamy/dreamy soprano with superb breathe control commands the melodic line like few others of the time. She may have lacked temperament dramatically but when you get to hear her sing music like this all is forgiven.
Enjoy this simple, beautiful offering. It remains one of my most treasured operatic moments. So quiet, tender and personal.
By the way you can read more by heading to the ever reliable source that is Wikipedia.