<< -- 3 -- David Wilkins A VERITABLE WONDER
South African-born Wicus Slabbert sings the role of the fisherman, Gyges, with a voice of considerable grandeur and acts his way through an unwelcome fate with considered dignity. The royal pair, Kurt Schreibmayer and Gertrud Ottenthal took a while to find their divine-right of pitch and projection but came good for the gloriously Straussian moments.
Wicus Slabbert (invisible with hula-hoop!), Gertrud Ottenthal and Kurt Schreibmayer. Photo © Volksoper Wien/Reinhard Werner
Overall, I think I could have done without the gay-wedding episode or the bare-chested 'rough trade' boys who slaughter the courtiers -- if only because they seemed like Freud seen through the refracting lens of a Woody Allen. What I couldn't have done without, the exigencies of life and marginalised opera being what they are, is what may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this strangely alluring work.
Copyright © 28 November 2004
David Wilkins, Eastbourne UK