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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Natalie auf Naxos

One of the finest operas in the Metropolitan Opera's stable of productions is Richard Strauss' soaring Ariadne auf Naxos. A bizarre juxtaposition of Greek tragedy and rollicking Italian farce, Ariadne features one of the most scintillating (and difficult) arias ever written for a coloratura soprano.

  • The aria is "Grossmachtige Prinzessin."
  • The artist is Natalie Dessay.
  • The performance was filmed at L'Opera Bastille.
Dessay fans and Strauss lovers should take note that her spectacular appearance in Ariadne (in a cast that also included Deborah Voigt and Suzanne Mentzer) will be available (at long last) on DVD from the Metropolitan Opera next month. It is being released individually and as part of a box set celebrating James Levine and his 40th anniversary conducting at the Big House. And I can tell you that those performances were something to celebrate--I was there.

Due to the prohibitive length of the aria, it's divided into two seperate YouTube clips. Enjoy....


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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.