Daphne

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Hamburg Opernhaus, opened 1955 (and doesn’t it look it!)

My first Richard Strauss opera, and I feel I need a little more time to get to know him before I can decide if I like him. The opera house is great – as perfect example of its era as Leeds Grand Theatre is of Victorian. And Daphne the singer was very good, with a beautiful last ten minutes. The tenors – Leukippos (the frock was a bit much – this really called for a trouser role) and Apollo – had a bit of a battle with the orchestra. The wino-Oktoberfest staging worked well as a background for the drunken licentiousness, but the stage did get a bit crowded at times.

There were similarities with the Snow Maiden – a girl who wants nothing to do with men but is forced to take part in midsummer madness. In the case of Strauss, one wonders if the opera reflected his relationship with the Nazi regime.

Fortunately, it’s a short opera “in einem Aufzug” – which flummoxed me until I checked with the dictionary.

  • Daphne – Sara Jakubiak
  • Leukippos – Peter Lodahl
  • Apollo – Eric Cutler
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