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Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”
Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière’s comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. It was first performed in Dresden on January 26, 1911.
The opera has four main characters: the aristocratic Marschallin, her very young lover Count Octavian Rofrano, her coarse cousin Baron Ochs and Ochs' prospective fiancée Sophie von Faninal, daughter of a rich bourgeois. At the Marschallin's suggestion Ochs gets Octavian to act as his Rosenkavalier and present the ceremonial silver rose to Sophie. But when Octavian meets Sophie they fall in love at first sight. By a comic intrigue they get rid of Ochs with the help of the Marschallin, who then yields Octavian to the younger woman. Although a comic opera, Der Rosenkavalier also operates at a deeper level. Conscious of the difference in age between herself and Octavian, the Marschallin muses in bittersweet fashion over the passing of time, growing old and men's inconstancy.
Marschallin – Evelyn Lear
Octavian – Frederica von Stade
Sofie – Ruth Welting
Baron Ochs – Jules Bastin
Italian Singer – Jose Carreras
Edo De Waart conductor
Decca - 1977