Diana Damrau’s Sophie enchances the trio’s sparkle with her etheral high notes. Next to Franz Hawlata as a swaggering Baron Ochs and the always impressive Franz Grundheber as Faninal, the Baden-Baden production rounds off its male leads with the international tenor star Jonas Kaufmann as the "Italian Singer".
Leading his Münchner Philharmoniker, acclaimed Romantic specialist Christian Thielemann revels in Strauss’s lustrous melancholy and obtains a rarely heard transparency from the brass and woodwinds.
Bolstered by these solid orchestral underpinnings, Herbert Wernicke’s Salzburg Festival production - which also scored a great success at Paris’ Opéra de la Bastille - has been polished and trimmed here by Alejando Stradler. It places the cast of fabulous singers in a sumptuous setting of timeless elegance dominated by a play of mirrors reflecting the shifting emotions of the lead trio.