Clearly I am a delinquent. In that I haven't written down a single word about the current Lyric Opera of Chicago season which began some nine or ten weeks ago—practically a lifetime in the world of opera blogging. Whatever the reason(s) may be for my hiatus now seems irrelevant to rehash, for the one crucial thing required of people who intend to "move forward" is to bravely let go of the past and all its excess baggage—let's leave it at that. I will, however, revisit a most memorable performance that I was fortunate enough (really fortunate!) to have witnessed at Lyric this autumn. It made me forget the frustratingly dismal Lucia I saw earlier in the season with Giuseppe Filianoti, as well as a tedious Hoffmann with Matthew Polenzani. That performance was Ariadne auf Naxos, with Amber Wagner in the title role (replacing Deborah Voigt), Anna Christy as Zerbinetta, Alice Coote as the Composer, and Brandon Jovanovich as Bacchus. The production was very Gilbert and Sullivan. The singing, on the other hand, was not. Soprano Wagner, making her Lyric début, was a revelation. A consummate performer, her voice swirled and flowed in the air like French chiffon, majestically and technically secure in all registers. Her soprano soared thrillingly across a flawless Straussian sky. Coote was just as impressive, as was Christy's stratospheric Zerbinetta. Jovanovich was a vocally and visually arresting Bacchus. Like Voigt, the scheduled Ariadne, conductor Andrew Davis has never excelled in Italian operas, but his Ariadne was a sheer delight from beginning to end, as the music of Richard Strauss should be.