Petrenko’s Rosenkavalier

Otto Schenk’s 1972 staging of Der Rosenkavalier for Bavarian State Opera

Published: March 7, 2014

MUNICH — Kirill Petrenko unobtrusively passed the litmus test of Der Rosenkavalier here this week, shaping the score on his own terms (March 5) amid the hoopla of his Bavarian State Opera company’s 2014–15 season announcement.

Energetic, vivid, not so flexible, often perilously fast or loud, but dynamically controlled, it was Strauss in the vein of Fritz Reiner more than departed local deity Carlos Kleiber (or for that matter Herbert von Karajan or Christian Thielemann). The orchestra scrambled at the start, and moments of repose through the evening were few.

Onstage the Generalmusikdirektor from Omsk, 42, had support in the experienced, affecting Feldmarschallin of Soile Isokoski and the commanding, comic Ochs of Peter Rose. But Mojca Erdmann worked hard for volume as a stiff, vaguely shrewish Sophie, and Alice Coote’s mezzo-soprano sounded stronger on top than in the middle, where the Knight’s music lives.

Otto Schenk’s faithful 42-year-old production — it entered the world 69 days after Petrenko and is now under threat of replacement — moves traffic with consummate expertise in Act I and still guarantees applause for the opulence of its Act II.

Photo © Wilfried Hösl

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