Roberto Saccà as Song God: We first hear the voice of Bacchus from afar, through a single, dazzling chink of light on a dark stage. It belongs, with its rare stamina and heroic tenor beauty of line, to Roberto Saccà. He really is a song god, and it’s not only Ariadne who cannot get enough of his voice, nor can the audience. Saccà and Urmana illustrate what Hofmannsthal and Strauss speak of in their masterpiece: ²Music is a holy art².
The breathtakingly difficult title role was performed by the evening’s protagonist, Roberto Saccà, with incredible aplomb. The endless treasures that poured out of this Italian tenor, lyrically hued and so effortless in all the various extremes of emotion, couldn’t fail to impress.
Grandiose: Roberto Saccà in the title role leaves even renowned predecessors for dust. He takes a completely individual approach, both vocally and dramatically, to the visionary yet troubled character of Grimes. Rüdiger Safranski is quoted in the programme booklet as saying ²every individual is a risk to himself², and Saccà is the embodiment of this. His Grimes is not only the introverted dreamer, the mercilessly tormented, ultimately deranged soul, but also the perpetrator, who abuses his apprentice. Violence and evil are inherent in man. This is the lesson from Karaman’s exacting take on Britten’s opera, which Saccà translates into gesture, word and song. It will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Roberto Saccà was impressive in the high tessitura of the Emperor, demonstrating a wonderfully soft attack, silken upper register, and belcanto-inflected phrasing.
Roberto Saccà, with his compact, radiant tenor voice, is an endlessly enthusiastic Emperor, whose fervent delusion in his search for womanhood is utterly convincing.