It was the legendary record producer Walter Legge, husband of the great Straussian soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who referred to Richard Strauss as “Romanticism’s great coda”. Having enjoyed a long and productive composing life, Strauss died at the age of 85 in 1949. Alongside his celebrated series of orchestral tone poems, Strauss was a noted composer for the voice, writing a great catalogue of lieder and many operas. In fact, I would not be going to far to suggest that he, bar Mozart, was probably the greatest composer for the female voice, particularly the soprano register. So State Opera of South Australia Artistic Director Stuart Maunder’s idea to present a gala which celebrated this was a truly excellent idea, bringing on board not only Australia’s best late Romantic conductor, Simone Young, but four of the probable best voices for this repertoire – sopranos Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Emma Matthews and Lisa Gasteen, and mezzo Catherine Carby.

Simone Young

The capacity audience were not only treated to the finest and more tonal selections from the composer’s operas and orchestral settings of the more familiar lieder – Young also chose a truly excellent selection of orchestral interludes and...

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