Sunday, January 31, 2010

STRAUSS : DER ROSENKAVALIER

RICHARD STRAUSS : THE ROSE KNIGHT

Radio New Zealand Concert network 
Sunday 23rd of March 2014 at 6.03 - 10 pm
Sunday 31st of January 2010 at 3 -7.50 pm

STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier, an opera in three acts
Hugo von Hofmannsthal's very human story of a young nobleman who is involved with a field marshal's wife but then falls in love with a girl closer to his own age. It's set in the 18th century but contains 19th century developments such as the Viennese waltz, and a character's tendency for profound personal reflection. Although the final title was Der Rosenkavalier, the true central figure is the Marschallin. One might think of her as a somewhat updated Countess from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, with a slightly older Cherubino

Marschallin...................... Martina Serafin
Octavian........................... Alice Coote
Baron Ochs....................... Peter Rose
Sophie.............................. Erin Morley
Faninal............................. Hans-Joachim Ketelsen
Marianne.......................... Jennifer Check
Valzacchi......................... Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Annina.............................. Jane Henschel
Notary.............................. James Courtney
Italian Singer.................... Eric Cutler
1st Noble Orphan............. Maria D'Amato
2nd Noble Orphan............ Rosemary Nencheck
3rd Noble Orphan............ Mary Hughes
Milliner............................ Stephanie Chigas
Vendor.............................. Kurt Phinney
Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus, Metropolitan Chorus & Orch/Edward Gardner

INTRODUCTION
SYNOPSIS
SYNOPSIS
REVIEW (NYT)
LIBRETTO (German)
LIBRETTO (German)
SCORE (Piano)

Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s libretto tells of a young nobleman named Count Octavian Rofrano (pet-name Quinquin) who is involved with a field marshal’s wife (the Marschallin, Marie Thérèse, Princess von Werdenberg, called Bichette by her paramour); but in Act 2 he falls in love with Sophie von Faninal, a girl who is not of his rank (but her merchant father has bought his way into the nobility); she is about to be married to Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau; Octavian is the rose-knight who carries a gift from Ochs to be offered to his intended; this presentation of a silver rose to the fiancée was not a custom but an idea invented by Hofmannsthal and Strauss. (It makes a welcome change from the ax in Salome and Elektra.)

The opera is set in Vienna in the 18th century, the time of Empress Maria Theresa, but it contains the 19th-century Viennese waltz. The central figure is the introspective Marschallin; incidentally, her husband never appears; in Act 3 she gives up her young lover, and the Bourgeois father Faninal permits the marriage of his daughter to the younger nobleman, after Ochs has been caught in a compromising situation with a maid named 'Mariandel', who is Octavian in drag (but of course Octavian is played by a female soprano).

The small walk-on role of "Italian singer" (in Act 1) is taken, in  studio recordings, by such worthies as Luciano Pavarotti (with Solti), Placido Domingo (with Bernstein), and Nicolai Gedda in one of the most glorious gramophone opera performances (with Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, Stich-Randall, Edelmann, Waechter).

I was so impressed by the Karajan film that I am astonished that I am dumbstruck and not pouring out my affection for this opera in the space I have here. There are some ecstatic experiences to be had all along the way, let me simply say.

Sunday 31st of January 2010 at 3 -7.50 pm
STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier, an opera in three acts
Marschallin.................... Renée Fleming
Octavian....................... Susan Graham
Sophie.......................... Christine Schäfer
Italian Singer................. Eric Cutler
Faninal.......................... Thomas Allen
Baron Ochs................... Kristinn Sigmundsson
Leitmetzerin................... Jennifer Check
Valzacchi...................... Rodell Rosel
Annina.......................... Wendy White
Notary.......................... James Courtney
Police Commissar.......... Jeremy Galyon
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Edo de Waart (EBU)


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