Review: Dallas Opera’s ‘Die tote Stadt’ is mostly worth the wait
March 22, 2014
“Die tote Stadt is such a glorious wallow in soaring melodies and sumptuous, brilliantly colored orchestration that the rare actual performance is a special occasion. Alas, the very qualities that make Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s ripely romantic 1920 opera so stirring also make it a challenge to realize in the theater. On the Dallas Opera’s wish list for at least a decade, it finally made it to the Winspear Opera House on Friday night.
The central role of Paul, a man so obsessed with his dead wife that he imagines her reincarnated in another woman he has just met, calls for a tenor of Wagnerian/Straussian heft, and one able to sing great stretches in his upper range. Marietta, the object of his transferred obsession, must be a soprano of comparable power, and plausible as a dancer. Add an elaborately textured orchestral score that requires fastidious rehearsal — Strauss meets Puccini — and very careful management in performance.”