Der Rosenkavalier
(The Knight of the Rose)

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music:Richard Strauss
Libretto:Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Premiere:Dresden, January 26, 1911

Strauss's first successful comic opera begins in the bedroom of the Marschallin of Werdenberg, where the 32-year-old princess has spent a passionate night with 17-year-old Octavian. The marschallin's pleasure is mixed, for she knows that Octavian will soon seek a younger lover. She appoints Octavian to take a silver betrothal rose to a young girl, Sophie, on behalf of her country relative, Baron von Lerchenau, and the two teenagers fall in love. Sophie's angry father orders her to a convent, but Octavian, determined to win her hand, concocts a scheme to discredit the baron. Comic confusion reigns until the marschallin appears and reestablishes order, forgiving Octavian and nobly pushing him into Sophie's arms.

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