Iconic Productions: Der Rosenkavalier

“All art, no matter how sophisticated, avant-garde or advanced, must still have the ability to touch and move a human being.” – Gottfried Helnwein, set and costume designer for Der Rosenkavalier (2005)

Der Rosenkavalier (2005); Photo: Robert Millard

Der Rosenkavalier (2005); Photo: Robert Millard

LA Opera capped off its 2004/2005 season with a colorful production of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Visually striking and set during the wildness of the Baroque era, Der Rosenkavalier was a new production directed by Academy Award nominee, Maximilian Schell (his second for the company following the successful Lohengrin in 2001).

Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier is one of the greatest romantic comedy operas, but with starkly modern undertones. In the opera, there are four principal characters, aristocrat Marschallin (Adrianne Pieczonka), her young lover Count Octavian Rofrano (Alice Coote), her cousin Baron Ochs (Kurt Rydl), and his potential fiancée, Sophie (Elizabeth Futral). Shenanigans ensue when Octavian takes up the role of the Marschallin’s maid to hide from the Baron and instead falls for his fiancée, Sophie. The rest of the opera is spent trying to break apart the undeserving Baron and Sophie, while the Marschallin muses about age, love, and the passage of time.

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