I almost didn't go to this opera, because Renee Fleming's voice just isn't heavy enough for the Marschallin role. But she was believable and in control the entire time, and her top notes were gorgeous and unforced. Christine Shafer had to strain for her top register, but otherwise was an excellent Sophie. I expected more of Susan Graham's Octavian, but her voice is warm and pleasant to listen to. Oddly, in this opera written for three varieties of soprano, the best voice on that stage belonged to Kristinn Sigmundsson as Baron Ochs. Wonderful singer.

WARNING: This opera is not one for people new to opera; it's too modern, too sophisticated. Go to CARMEN instead.