Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos (In English) - Dernesch, Woollam, Baker, Christie; Del Mar. Glasgow, 1977
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This performance of Ariadne auf Naxos is an excellent argument for the merits of opera in English. With the language barrier broken down, Hofmannstahl’s witty libretto comes to life with rich vitality. The efforts are aided by a cast of singers who bring clarity and conversational ease to both poetry and prose. Janet Baker is an ardent Composer displaying a gleaming top that had me questioning whether or not she could have sung more soprano roles. As Ariadne Helga Dernesch struggles. The richness of her voice is still in tact, but she can’t quite cope with the tessitura of the part. I will say that her English is excellent. Kenneth Woollam is a burly Bacchus and Nan Christie brings both vocal pyrotechnics and winsome charm to the role of Zerbinetta. The sound is excellent.