Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos (In German & English) - J. Meier, Stapp, Wise; Keene. 1974
Listen to a Sample:
What a find this performance was! If you do not know any of these American singers, who have sadly been largely forgotten, you need to get this recording. Johanna Meier is simply radiant in the title role. Her voice is clarion pure and the voice soars in the climaxes as well as any of the top Strauss sopranos of the 20th century. Olivia Stapp assumes the role of the composer. She shows why this part should only be sung by a soprano (Lotte Lehmann, as you may know, was its originator.) The final b flat at the end of her aria is truly what makes opera great. Patricia Wise is about as charming a Zerbinetta as you can get. Because of the demands of the role, this part can often only be cast by the chirpiest of sopranos. Wise brings a legato line and vocal color that is most welcome. This performance is also interesting in that the prologue and all the commedia dell'arte sections of the Opera are sung in English while Ariadne's story is sung in German. The sound is good.