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Digital Subscriptions > Opera Now > February 2017 > Der Rosenkavalier Strauss

Der Rosenkavalier Strauss

Too much reality – or what passes for reality in the heads of opera directors – can be a baleful thing. There is such layered suggestion and allusion in Richard Strauss’s best-loved work that shining too strong a light can shatter the magic of the shadows

UK

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LONDON

Music ****

Staging ***

Robert Carsen’s light, in any case, is a tendentious one: he seems to suggest Rosenkavalier not only led directly to the First World War but maybe actually caused it. Updatings to 1911 (year of composition) are hardly rare. Jonathan Miller did it much more delicately for English National Opera, a production that was ditched, weirdly I think, for David McVicar’s painting-by-numbers job; but Carsen, in this re-pimping of a disliked 2004 Salzburg staging, angrily parses the piece as a rant against militarism and the selling of daughters (both very bad things – thanks for telling us, Mr Carsen).

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About Opera Now

Baritone Thomas Hampson discusses his influential role as ambassador for opera and the art of singing; composer John Adams on turning 70 and his new opera about the California Gold Rush; Grange Park Opera gets ready for its relaunch at Britain's newest opera house; and the indomitable prowess of the great American soprano Leontyne Price. Plus, introducing a new opera inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall; movement and pictures in the stagings of Japanese-born director Anna Etsuko Tsuri; the revelations of Dame Felicity Lott; American opera in the age of Trump; a weekend in Boston; and our pick of the best new works coming up stateside.
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