Fidelio, Wien, 24 April 2019
“Anne Schwanewilms as Leonore is, of course, only new in this role for the Viennese audience. The soprano singer, who is now highly regarded as a Strauss singer, originally began her singing career as a mezzo soprano and, when switching to the higher vocal range, initially concentrated on roles from the intermediate fach. So roles such as Wagner’s Senta and Beethoven’s Leonore, which she had sung for the first time as a concert singer at Hessischer Rundfunk in 1999, came just at the right time for her.
Now, twenty years later, she knows how to carefully take back her great voice and thus endow the figure with the mixture of strength and vulnerability that is so characteristic of her. Schwanewilms captivates with an almost vibrato-free middle register and blends wonderfully into the songlike quartet ‘Mir ist so wunderbar’ in the first act, but also creates her great aria ‘Abscheulicher! Where are you hurrying?’, in which she encourages herself in the face of Don Pizarro’s murderous intentions to make a moving confession.”
Manfred A. Schmid, onlinemerker.com, 24 April 2019