The only cast members remaining from the première are the long-serving former director of Zurich Opera, Alexander Pereira, as an exemplary Haushofmeister, and Roberto Saccà in the exceptionally demanding role of Bacchus. Roberto Saccà's effortless tenor soars through the awkwardly high tessitura. Saccà has at his disposal a radiant, unforced and yet heroic vocal colour.
But that wasn't the last of the vocal stars of the evening. Roberto Saccà is Bacchus. Bacchus is the tenor Saccà. Strauss has composed a tenor part, shifting between the tenderest of intimacy and eruptive strength, which gives every tenor as accomplished as Saccà an opportunity to show what they're made of.
...and singing from the front row of the stalls, Roberto Sacca brings to Eleazar's big aria an incredible emotional intensity.
Now in Ghent, Roberto Saccà is an altogether different kind of Jew - very modern, angry and pugnacious. Yet in spite of this display of vocal confidence, he manages to get up close to the audience in his big aria, both vocally and physically.
The quality of singing was exceptional throughout. Roberto Saccà brought out not only dogmatism in the goldsmith Éléazar, but also a hint of despair... (Peter Hagmann)
There can hardly be anyone else who sings this role so frequently and so unerringly, with such power and yet such ease, as radiantly and smoothly as Roberto Saccà.
By contrast, it was a real pleasure to hear Roberto Saccà as Tenor/Bacchus. His radiant tenor, open in the upper registers and elegantly handled, mastered all the challenges of the role's high tessitura. Bacchus's call to Circe was alluring and enticing, and his interpretation was both artistically and vocally accomplished.