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The singing stars of the evening were Anja Kampe as Fidelio and Klaus Florian Vogt as Florestan, the husband for whom she risks her life. Kampe, a relatively small woman, is skilled in stagecraft and has a big, luscious dramatic voice that belies her stature. Her sound sailed over the full orchestra with ease. Vogt, too, has a powerful voice, but it has a lyric timbre and he sings with honeyed tones. It's no wonder that he is already well known for his Lohengrin. A consummate musician, he was the principal horn player in the Hamburg Philharmonic before he became a singer.

Anja Kampe (Fidelio/Leonore) and Klaus Florian Vogt (Florestan) in 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Anja Kampe (Fidelio/Leonore) and Klaus Florian Vogt (Florestan) in 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

As the curtain opened for Act II, projection designer Sergio Metalli took the audience for a fast and furious descent through the prison. In its ultimate depths we first see the physically degraded Florestan who then sings the aria that proves his spirit is unbroken. This was a perfect union of film and live theater where each was improved by the presence of the other.

Eike Wilm Schulte played Don Pizarro as a conceited martinet with a dramatic voice, while choreographer Nicola Bowie had her 'storm troopers' goose step in varied formations before him. Tenor Robert MacNeil was a credible First Prisoner and bass James Cresswell, who will sing Rocco in Frankfurt this season, was an outstanding second prisoner. As Don Fernando, the official who makes everything end right, Oleg Bryak was a stylish nobleman who sang with an unwavering sound.

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Copyright © 23 September 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


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