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Comic opera in three acts - 1911

Composer Richard Strauss (Arrangement by Eberhard Kloke) · Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
In German with German and English surtitles | New Production

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  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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A peculiar work, this Rosenkavalier. With Salome and Elektra, Richard Strauss had just earned himself a reputation as the enfant terrible of the bourgeoisie on the opera stage, and went, as he wrote himself, “to the limits of what ears of the day could take”, and then, together with librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, on to conquer the audience, of all things with the anachronistically swaying waltzes of a high nobility comedy of an 18th century fantasized Vienna. The wonderful thing about this special quality: Strauss and Hofmannsthal drive the artificiality of this world to the extreme in text and music and allow it to grow into a dreamlike and nightmarish scenario. There is room here for all the themes that make Rosenkavalier so fascinating – the possibilities and impossibility of love, the urgency and relentlessness of passing time, the indispensability and relentless conditionality of autonomy and freedom to decide. Barrie Kosky’s Rosenkavalier also pays tribute to mostly less well-known sources of the work, such as the French operetta, L’ingenu libertin by Claude Terrasse and Louis Artus, consequently adds surprising facets to the cherished characters of Sophie and Octavian, Ochs and Marschallin, and in opulent images adds an exciting chapter to the piece’s Munich staging history. 

In the online premiere and subsequent performances, the work will be performed in the arrangement by composer and conductor Eberhard Kloke. Kloke's arrangement takes the character of Der Rosenkavalier as a conversation piece as a starting point for transcribing its score into the orchestration of Strauss's subsequent opera Ariadne auf Naxos - itself a work that emerged from the intersection of drama and musical theater. The idea is to change the sound and thus the tonal structure within the orchestra, as well as the balance between stage and orchestra, achieving both an expansion and a compression of the sound; the instrumentation favors a range of contrasting split sounds instead of a mixed sound. The reference to the Ariadne orchestra is expressed, for example, in the frequent use of piano, harp, celesta and harmonium.

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