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Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Premieres (1911) Options
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Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Premieres (1911)

Still regularly performed, Der Rosenkavalier is one of the most acclaimed comic operas of Richard Strauss, the leading composer of romantic opera in the early 20th century. It is loosely based on the works of Molière and Louvet de Couvrai and tells the story of the shifting romantic attachments of four principal characters. Strauss, who often abandoned tonality to emphasize the humor or drama of a scene, composed Der Rosenkavalier in collaboration with what poet? More...
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Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Premieres (1911)
Still regularly performed, Der Rosenkavalier is one of the most acclaimed comic operas of Richard Strauss, the leading composer of romantic opera in the early 20th century. It is loosely based on the works of Molière and Louvet de Couvrai and tells the story of the shifting romantic attachments of four principal characters. Strauss, who often abandoned tonality to emphasize the humor or drama of a scene, composed Der Rosenkavalier in collaboration
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Der Rosenkavalier, (German: The Knight of the Rose) comic opera in three acts by German composer Richard Strauss (German libretto by Austrian dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal) that premiered at the Dresden Royal Opera House on January 26, 1911.

Background And Context
Hofmannsthal had written the play upon which Strauss based Elektra, but Der Rosenkavalier was their first close collaboration. Hofmannsthal took several characters and elements of the plot from French composer Claude Terrasse’s operetta L’Ingénu libertin (1907) and French dramatist Molière’s Monsieur de Pourceaugnac (1669). The composer set to work on what he called a Komödie für Musik (“comedy for music”) before the libretto was complete. Notably, Strauss worked many waltzes into the score. The waltz, an early 19th-century creation, was unknown in 18th-century Vienna, but it was a staple in light opera at the beginning of the 20th century.
Within a year of its Dresden premiere, Der Rosenkavalier had reached the stages of Vienna, Munich, Nürnberg, Cologne, Hamburg, Milan (in Italian), and Prague (in Czech), among many other European cities. In 1913, productions would be staged both in London and at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Not all observers were pleased. For example, at La Scala in Milan, purists booed the waltzes, which they viewed as suitable only for dance music. Nonetheless, Der Rosenkavalier was hugely popular and has remained the most often performed of Strauss’s operas.
Der Rosenkavalier is dominated by its female vocal parts, although the music for the men is certainly effective. The young man Octavian is played by a mezzo-soprano (thus, a woman dressed in male clothing, known as a trouser, pants, or breeches role); one precedent for that circumstance is that of Mozart’s Cherubino from The Marriage of Figaro. Because Octavian is the lover of the Marschallin and the suitor of Sophie, all of the opera’s love music is sung by women. Their glorious final trio is one of the highlights of the opera and its best-known passage. Strauss loved the trio enough to request that it be performed at his funeral.


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Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Premieres (1911)
Still regularly performed, Der Rosenkavalier is one of the most acclaimed comic operas of Richard Strauss, the leading composer of romantic opera in the early 20th century. It is loosely based on the works of Molière and Louvet de Couvrai and tells the story of the shifting romantic attachments of four principal characters. Strauss, who often abandoned tonality to emphasize the humor or drama of a scene, composed Der Rosenkavalier in collaboration
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