But Alice Coote (Octavian), Adrianne Pieczonka (the Marschallin) and Elizabeth Futral (Sophie) make up for that. All three are superb, each in her own way. Pieczonka's Marschallin is regal, unsentimental and smart, and when her vulnerabilities break through as she reflects on her situation, they are all the more touching. Her soprano is brushed steel, burnished yet not hard.
Coote's Octavian is a testament to testosterone, all confused and amber-toned. Futral is not the typically demure, naive Sophie — she can't be, in that low-cut, translucent gown — but, like the Marschallin, softness is found in hardness. She doesn't lose innocence but gains it, so that in the end she can understand real experience. And she soars while doing so.
Kurt Rydl's Ochs has all the standard gaucheness, but he also has something else. He is a brute, an inept Genghis Khan wannabe who dominates the stage.