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If you are new to Der Rosenkavalier this is a good introduction. The production is traditional and the story-telling is clear. I was prepared to be mildly interested, but it provides more than just a solid performance. Andrew Litton’s conducting is generally fleet, and though he relaxes into the set pieces he retains a sense of vigour and purpose. Cheryl Barker’s Marschallin is attractive of appearance and tone, though she remains slightly faceless. Catherine Carby’s Octavian is beautifully sung and she has a strong presence, and Emma Pearson’s Sophie is as radiant as one could hope for – it’s an assumption that should be seen in the great houses. Manfred Hemm as Ochs just about steers clear of mugging, and his bass is clean and pleasing. The combination of Litton, Carby and Pearson is very winning, with the women’s vocalising providing immense pleasure, and I found myself far more involved than I had anticipated.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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