Noah insisted that I see Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Met. It's the only opera this season we planned to definitely see at the Met and actually purchased tickets for in advance. I am completely and thoroughly dazzled by every aspect of this masterpiece and production. The music is other-worldly and I possibly floated right out of my seat.
We started out in the Family Circle, but ended up being upgraded to third row orchestra. It's hard to describe the thrill of being able to see the faces and hear gorgeous gigantic voices over a 200 piece orchestra. And what voices! Everybody was marvelous: Christine Goerke, Anne Schwanewilms, Johan Reuter, Rosten Kerl and Ildikó Komlósi.
This was Anne Schwanewilms' Met Debut. I was fortunate to hear her as the Marschallin in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier in her Chicago Lyric 2006. It was not a voice or a stage presence I could forget. I was delighted at the opportunity to witness another thrilling performance from her.
I had also heard the dynamic Christine Goerke as Chrysothemis in Strauss' Elektra in 2008. WHAT A VOICE OF ASTOUNDING DYNAMICS!
See a pattern here? RICHARD STRAUSS! As we were leaving the Met, I found it unable to describe the emotions I was feeling. It's not that I don't find Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini, Wagner, Massenet (and probably others) fulfilling, entertaining and completely worthy of my time, but Strauss takes me to another place. It's a complete adrenaline rush and my heart feels like it will beat right out of my chest. Noah said, "It sounds like God." Surely, he must be right.
There are two opportunities to see it at the Met again...I'm double-checking my calendar because I really think I need to see this one again. It's rarely produced and it has been at the Met for the last ten years.