Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (In English) - Dernesch, Baker, Harwood, Mangin, Hemlsey; Gibson. Glasgow, 1971
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I am a real sucker for opera in English especially when it is performed by singers with excellent diction and stage presence. This performance is one of the finest arguments for opera in English I have come across. Der Rosenkavalier is very conversational in nature which can sometimes be alienating even if you are listening with a libretto. Hearing it in English highlights the brilliance and wit of Hoffmannsthal's libretto and makes for an experience more akin to seeing a good play. Janet Baker is outstanding in the title role and brings both plushness of tone and poise. Elizabeth Harwood is a lovely Sophie. The real surprise, however, was the Marschallin of Helga Dernesch. Not only does she sing it beautifully but her English diction is very good and her delivery is very natural to the point that you could almost convince yourself that you were listening to a native speaker. The sound is excellent.