Boston Symphony Orchestra
"A Delicious ‘Rosenkavalier’ in Boston [...]
In a city regularly starved of quality opera, Andris Nelsons’s habit of conducting Strauss with his Boston Symphony Orchestra can only be welcome. First there was “Salome,” then a smoldering “Elektra” with Christine Goerke last year. And, on Thursday at Symphony Hall here, a delectable “Der Rosenkavalier.”
Where to look for a headline in a performance full of them? To the brilliance of Franz Hawlata’s Baron Ochs, blustery but never uncouth, genuinely funny in a role it is easy to turn into cliché? To Erin Morley’s subtle Sophie? To a host of minor roles made good, not least Irmgard Vilsmaier’s bracing Marianne, and even the policeman of David Cushing and the notary of David Kravitz?
Or to the pleasure of an uncomplicated concert staging (devised by the singers) in which nothing got in the way, in which the simplest of devices — the use of the conductor’s rostrum, or of his spare baton as a sword — seemed clever and loving and right? […]
it was when the orchestra was at its most tender that it was at its best: the intractable sadness when the Marschallin shows Ochs the locket bearing a picture of Octavian; the dusk and regret at the start of her reflection on time and age; the pillows of rapture in the love duet for Octavian and Sophie. One could ask for little more.”