by Richard Strauss 


Luana und Helen Donath

Helen Donath (left) and Luana DeVol (right) singing "Ägyptische Helena" at Aalto-Theater Essen, Germany in June 2003.

Luana's comment:


"The Aegyptische Helena is a bit difficult to sing because it is sometimes delicate, sometimes dramatic and usually high, but with our great cast in Essen, including the fabled Helen Donat as Aithra, and with great Strauss conductor, Stefan Soltesz, it is a joy.   It has a bad reputation as being impossible to stage, and in my opinion, it is because the poor tenor who sings Menelas has to portray himself as being in a fog (after drinking a Tristan-like potion) and not recognizing that the woman in front of him is not a nymph set out to seduce him, but in fact his wife, and that throughout most of the opera.

The music does not help him or the rest of the cast differentiate his state of mind. 

But the music is at times Strauss at his best and worth overlooking the drama!"







Richard Strauss' 


under the baton of 

Stephan Soltesz 

at the Aalto Theater in Essen.




Richard Strauss