Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), Op. 59, 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 at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on January 26, 1911 under the direction of Max Reinhardt, Ernst von Schuch conducting. Until the premiere the working title was Ochs auf Lerchenau. The choice of the name Ochs is not accidental, for in German "Ochs" means "ox,"
The opera has four main characters: the aristocratic Marschallin; her very young lover, Count Octavian Rofrano; her brutish cousin Baron Ochs; and Ochs' prospective fiancée, Sophie von Faninal, the daughter of a rich bourgeois. At the Marschallin's suggestion, Octavian acts as Ochs' Rosenkavalier by presenting a ceremonial silver rose to Sophie. However, the young people fall in love on the spot, and soon devise a comic intrigue to extricate Sophie from her engagement. They accomplish this with help from the Marschallin, who then yields Octavian to the younger woman. Though a comic opera, the work incorporates some weighty themes (particularly through the Marschallin's character arc), including infidelity, aging, sexual predation, and selflessness (or the lack of it) in love.
Marschallin – Evelyn Lear
Baron Ochs – Jules Bastin
Octavian – Frederica Von Stade
Sophie – Ruth Welting
The Italian Singer – Jose Carreras
Edo de Waart – conductor
DECCA - 1977