Armchair Opera: Anja Harteros as Arabella

Anja Harteros does not flog trinkets or do fashion magazine spreads. Her name is practically unknown to non-opera buffs, yet the beauty of her voice and poised handling of the big soprano roles make her a true diva. Partial to her favourite opera house, her name transforms tickets to performances further than spitting distance of Munich into fun lottery stubs. If she doesn’t cancel, you win a chance to hear her trademark heart-stopping pianissimi. Big enough to pooh-pooh a full-strength orchestra, but also liquid and youthful, her sound was made for Strauss heroines.

Tonight you can hear her live from the Munich Opera Festival in Arabella. BR Klassik is transmitting the opening night at 7 pm CET. Expect some out-of-this-world vocal gliding. With her patrician presence and cool, wintry complexion, Ms Harteros should also be physically ideal for the introspective man-magnet.

Hotels are an opera setting favourite, but Arabella is actually set in a hotel. Later on this week we can all watch how director Andreas Dresen deals with this stroke of luck. (11 July, 2015 at 7 pm CET on staatsoper.tv).

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