We warmed considerably to soprano Iréne Theorin after her star turn in last year's production of Tristan und Isolde at Washington National Opera. So it was somewhat disappointing to learn that she had withdrawn from this week's National Symphony Orchestra concerts. The second part of the NSO's Richard Strauss celebration, after a top-notch Rosenkavalier earlier this month, it will feature excerpts from Elektra (the Recognition Scene) and Salome (the final scene), as well as some instrumental selections. Regret turned to anticipation, however, with the news that Theorin's replacement would be Christine Goerke, whose performance as Die Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metropolitan Opera generated critical raves from the New York press unheard of in some time (listen to a performance earlier last year with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra).
Alex Ross: "It's now a voice of immense force and wide-ranging expressivity. Absolutely go see her if you have the chance."In other words, no one who enjoys fine singing should let the chance to hear Goerke sing go by: March 20, 7 pm; March 21 and 22, 8 pm.
Eric C. Simpson: "Practically every moment she was onstage was a highlight. From beginning to end, she gave an astonishing and thoroughly memorable performance."
Anthony Tommasini: "And this was a breakthrough night at the Met for the American soprano Christine Goerke, who received an ecstatic ovation for her powerfully sung and wrenching portrayal of the hard-bitten Dyer’s Wife. Ms. Goerke has evolved in recent years into a dramatic soprano of exciting potential."