There are the right Strauss’es and the wrong Strauss’es. The right one is Richard who wrote marvelous operas such as Elektra, Salomé and Der Rosenkavalier. The other ones are all those Johanns with the double S – Strauß… you know New Year Concert in Vienna and all that, which is sort of ok for some brief moments on the couch with a headache January 1st. For the rest of the year I am very fine with out them, thank you. Especially when it comes to operetta. Fledermaus… *shudder*. A stupid story mixed with something that should be decadence but which never really nails true depravity.
But…then came Max Emanuel Cencic and changed my mind. Just for a spell here around New Year’s. Here he is as the Prince Orlofsky – a character normally sung by a female mezzo pretending to be a man. Here is instead a male soprano pretending to be a woman while the character is still a man (I’ll let you figure it out). This is decadent and over-the-top silly (is that an oil well on the top of his wig?). Take it out there and I’m with you!
I hadn’t heard Max Emanuel Cencic before but he turns out to be a rather accomplished countertenor in my favourite repertoire – baroque opera. Yay – there are more out there to discover!
Thanks to La Cieca.