[Met Tour] CID:147950

Der Rosenkavalier
Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Thu, May 6, 1948

Der Rosenkavalier (127)
Richard Strauss | Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Risë Stevens

Princess von Werdenberg (Marschallin)
Irene Jessner

Baron Ochs
Emanuel List

Nadine Conner

Hugh Thompson

Martha Lipton

John Garris

Italian Singer
Kurt Baum

Thelma Votipka

Peggy Smithers

Princess' Major-domo
Leslie Chabay

Thelma Altman

Paula Lenchner

Maxine Stellman

Inge Manski

Animal Vendor/Faninal's Major-domo
Anthony Marlowe

Edward Caton

Gerhard Pechner

Ludwig Burgstaller

Police Commissioner
Lorenzo Alvary

Max Rudolf

Review 1:

Review of John K. Sherman in the Minneapolis Star
Met Meets Opener Test With R. Strauss Sauce

It’s getting to be an old story – but a happy one – that the Metropolitan Opera means full house when it comes to Northrop Auditorium on its annual spring tour. Last night for “Der Rosenkavalier,” first offering of the four-opera season, the audience was capacity as to size and enthralled as to response.

The Richard Strauss comedy was given its first viewing in these parts, moving smoothly under the prodding of alert, energetic Max Rudolf, and given its sauce of humor and drama by Strauss-wise cast. The opera follows Wagnerian procedure generally, a continuous web of tone with recurring motifs, music full of quirky characterization, plus the richness and amazing flexibility of Strauss’ instrumentation.

Most of us know the waltz themes with which the piece is sprinkled, but the full stage chronicle added all the mocking and poignant implications of those suave tunes, telling a story that touches buffoonery at one extreme and genuine pathos at the other.

Long, occasionally turgid and overblown, “Rosenkavalier” nevertheless is a blandishing score that fits the von Hofmannsthal book in all amorous windings, its sly deceits and its vision of true love finally transcending the story’s tricks and intrigues.

Rise Stevens as the man-woman Octavian, and Emanuel List as the arrogant and vulgar Baron Ochs, easily ran off with the first honors in last night’s performance.

Miss Stevens is rapidly accruing impressive assets in both singing and acting departments, for her Octavian was all flourish and gallantry as a man, and simulated a delightfully ungainly boyishness in the female impersonation – even as to voice. List was properly repulsive and ridiculous, and he gave the old lecher a flavorsome characterization.

But credits, too, must go to Irene Jessner as the princess who is under the melancholy spell of growing old and who sadly and selflessly relinquishes her shining young lover to Sophie. And the Sophie had a demure charm and fine flute tones in the performance of Nadine Conner. These three were splendid in the last act’s trio, where Strauss’ chattering music rises to the most eloquent and moving lyricism of the play.

Other excellent performances came from Hugh Thompson as Sophie’s father, Kurt Baum as the visiting tenor who sings an Italian serenade and Thelma Votipka as Marianne. And of other memorable scenes besides the trio were the presentation of the rose, the melee in the princess’ boudoir, and the absurd farce in the Act III where Ochs is exposed.

The sets were not distinguished, and the lighting was standard.

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