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The Viennese chorus and orchestra know this opera inside out, but I could wish Semyon Bychkov did not so often rush them off their feet. The cast is exemplary, and much of the staging is subtly planned. So TDK has a great deal to be proud of. The initial love-making between the Marschallin of Adrianne Pieczonka and Angelika Kirchschlager's personable young Octavian is steamy and sultry enough for any taste [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 4, 7:25-8:45]. Franz Hawlata as the Baron wastes no time in making a pass at an Octavian hastily transmogrified into an attractive lady's maid, Mariandel [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 7, 19:12-20:11]. But where is Mohamed, so insistently demanded by his music? Political correctness must have repatriated him.

Baron Ochs (Franz Hawlata) chats up Mariandel/Octavian (Angelika Kirchschlager). DVD Screenshot © 2004 ORF
Baron Ochs (Franz Hawlata) chats up Mariandel/Octavian (Angelika Kirchschlager). DVD Screenshot © 2004 ORF

 

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Copyright © 1 January 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

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