[Christine Schäfer as the Composer in Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”, Vienna 2013. – Photo Credit. Wiener Staatsoper via BBC3]
Christine Schäfer isn’t new to mezzo territory as a soprano: She has created a fantastic Cherubino in both Paris and Salzburg.There’s no doubt that Schäfer knows how to wear a white shirt and a pair of trousers.
But while Cherubino has a tradition of being sung by sopranos as well as mezzo-sopranos, the Composer in Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” is a more dramatic part and doesn’t have a similar performance history. It has aspects of the same youthfulness, though – so, a soprano Composer: does it work for you?
You can still listen to the whole Vienna performance on BBC3 for three more days to make up your own mind.