by Richard Strauss
Conducted by Sebastian Weigle
Renée Fleming stars as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s grandest opera with a sparklingly perfect score.
Strauss’s most popular opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover but ultimately forced to accept the laws of time, giving him up to a pretty young heiress. The libretto deftly combines comedy, dreamy nostalgic fantasy, genuine human drama, and light but striking touches of philosophy and social commentary. Strauss’s magnificent score, likewise, works on several levels, combining the refinement of Mozart with the epic grandeur of Wagner.
The opera is originally set in Vienna in the 1740s. Genuine historical references are merged with fictitious inventions (like the “noble custom” of the presentation of the silver rose to a fiancée, which never actually existed) and anachronisms (like the Viennese Waltz, which did not yet exist at that time). It’s a mixture that creates a seductive mythical landscape, a ceremonious and impossibly beautiful Vienna-that-never-was. The Met’s new production moves the setting to the last years of the Habsburg Empire.
Start time: 10:00 AM on Capital Public Radio.
Approximate running time 4 hrs 12 min
This is the final Metropolitan Opera broadcast of the season.
Met Opera broadcasts return in December.