Review: Marzelline Fidelio at North Carolina Opera (November 2021)
Conducted by Arthur Fagan
“Soprano Erika Baikoff’s Marzelline was a winsome young lady, sharp-witted but dreamily romantic enough to fall victim to Leonore’s disguise. In her duet with Jaquino in the first scene of Act One, this Marzelline’s disgust at the notion of settling for her familiar suitor rather than pursuing the enigmatic Fidelio was palpable, the soprano’s singing of ‘Es wird ja nichts Wichtiges sein’ laden with good-natured but intensifying annoyance. Its music poised between Mozart and Weber, Marzelline’s aria ‘O wär’ ich schon mit dir vereint,’ though appealingly scored, can be tedious when it is sung unimaginatively. Baikoff’s performance was delightful, her top A delivered with the ebullience of a young girl’s first declaration of love. She voiced ‘Mir ist so wunderbar’ in the quartet with an apt sense of amazement, a sentiment also relayed by her gleaming top C in the trio and her zestful singing of the triplets in the quintet.