Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (The Rosebearer or The Knight of the Rose) was performed at the Royal Opera House as a brand new production set in a Viennese dream by Robert Carsen and designer Paul Steinberg at the close of 2016. In the beginning performances, the Marschallin was performed by legendary soprano Renée Fleming that this may potentially be her last time at the Covent Garden. The Marschallin’s gentle lover Octavian was performed by trouser role star Alice Coote, both expected at the New York Met this Spring. Due to the popularity of these performances, I was able to ascertain a ticket but I managed to see Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Anna Stéphany united as the Marschallin and Octavian who gave touching and exquisite performances for the opening scene.
The Marschallin’s palace looks as grand as the Imperial Palace in Vienna; gold, decadent and ornate with excessively huge beds and countless large doors that never seem to end. The sight of both of these lovers singing in this extravagant, vast space hones in on their strong and tender feelings for one another combined with lush vocals. The audience gain insight into the characters mindsets’ through convincing performances by Willis-Sorensen and Stephany: Marschallin’s nostalgia over the past, Octavian’s devotion to her, and the magnitude of their attraction.