|Image: Ross Cohen/Herzberger Artists|
The other reason I think it is so little performed is that it is so hard, so demanding, for everyone: all the singers have very difficult roles. The orchestra has an even more difficult role; it plays very sophisticated themes played against many other themes. So I try to find my way through the score to make most of it possible to understand; meaning, we worked very hard on understanding of the words. Not because it is in English, but because of the conversational style Strauss asks for.
We perform it in English, not in German, but it is set in a German parlando style, so now we have to adapt that style in translation, and then to back to Strauss, and discover what did he want this or that theme to sound like … so we discover that we need another word.
What I would like is for the audience to feel what we did yesterday. We were all moved, almost to tears, when Christine declared her love to Robert. She sings six minutes of the most gorgeous music.