[Christine Schäfer as Cherubino in Christoph Marthaler’s “Figaro” production, enchanting Angela Denoke’s Contessa and Christiane Oelze’s Susanna, Salzburg 2001. – Photo Credit: Volker Gebhardt’s “Frauen in der Oper”, Munich 2004, S. 61]
As a general rule, I’m against sopranos singing Cherubino. Anything that can be cast with a mezzo and with a lower, sexier sound, should be cast with a mezzo. There’s enough soprano repertory out there (and far too little contralto repertory, which in turn gets overcast with mezzo voices, but that’s an issue for another day), so when it comes to Cherubino, no thanks.
And then there’s Christine Schäfer, who is possibly the smartest, foxiest and most credible Cherubino in recent years. I’ll make an exception for Schäfer (in pretty much anything, in fact). Repeatedly.
Schäfer has revisited Cherubino in Salzburg in Claus Guth’s 2006 “The Almavivabrooks” staging and will make a guest appearances (next to singing Konstanze and Violetta) in Thomas Langhoff’s “Figaro” staging for Berliner Staatsoper in early 2012.
Also, I want that t-shirt (and I hope it does come with the adoring soprano gazes included).