Moreover, the grandeur and ambition of work, production, and orchestral performance notwithstanding, not to forget the work of the excellent chorus, there was something winningly intimate, in the opéra comique tradition to what we saw and heard from the singers on stage. That is not to suggest a lack of vocal scale, but simply to point to their convincing performances as characters on stage. If Roman Trekel and Wolfgang Schöne both proved somewhat dry and stiff, the rest of the cast more than compensated. Peter Sonn’s Max was fresh toned, enthusiastic, vulnerable, Falk Struckmann’s Kasper very much his dark, virile antagonist (even, in this context, alter ego?) Anna Samuil gave perhaps the strongest performance I have heard from her as Agathe, exhibiting a fine sense, scenic and vocal, of tragic catastrophe before the last. Anna Prohaska’s more colourful, spirited Ännchen, despatched words and coloratura not only with ease but with intent and meaning. Performed in this new ‘version’ without an interval, the work emerged, Goldilocks-like, just right: neither too short nor too long. That, however, should remain a dark fairy-tale for another day.