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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Elektra - Eva Johansson



In anticipation of the upcoming WA Opera production of Elektra, the first of this opera to be performed in this city, here is the star of the production, Eva Johansson.  This clip is from a contemporary production in Zurich that is available on DVD.  

On hearing this one can understand why she is in such high demand for this vocally demanding role.  She is fortunate enough to have a big enough voice for the role without sacrificing beauty of tone, a relatively steady vibrato, and evenness of pitch above the stave.  

Since the early nineties we seem to have had quite a number of large voices willing to tackle Elektra, though I have to admit, from what I have heard to limited success.  Hopefully with Johansson we will see the end of pitchless, wobbly, ugly sounding soprano's in this reportoire, as much as I would love to I won't open a can of worms by mentioning names.

It has long been said that to play Elektra, one needs a 'big, ugly voice', which in my opinion is wrong.  To sacrifice tonal quality and beauty for size is certainly something I doubt Dr Strauss would have approved of.

The WA Opera/ ThinIce production of Richard Strauss' Elektra runs for three performances only, February 8, 11, 14 at His Majestys' Theatre, Perth.  Do not miss this production.

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