At The Opera, Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, April 16, 2022
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Der Rosenkavalier or 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 at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on January 261911 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", which describes the character of the Baron throughout the opera.)
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.
Der Rosenkavalier premiered January 26, 1911 in Dresden conducted by Ernst von Schuch, who had previously conducted the premieres of Strauss's Feuersnot, Salome and Elektra. From the start, Der Rosenkavalier was nothing short of a triumph: tickets to the premiere reportedly sold out almost immediately, resulting in a financial boom for the house. Though some critics took issue with Strauss' anachronistic use of waltz music, the public embraced the opera unconditionally. Rosenkavalier became Strauss' most popular opera during his lifetime and remains a staple of operatic repertoire today.
Marchallin - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Baron Ochs - Otto Edelmann
Octavian - Christa Ludwig
Sofie - Teresa Stich-Randall
The Italian singer - Nicolai Gedda
Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
Herbert von Karajan - conductor
Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo
Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Philharmonia; Herbert Von Karajan, conductor Herbert von Karajan