[Met Performance] CID:170830

Der Rosenkavalier
Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, February 6, 1956

Debut : Marsha Warren, Emilia Cundari

Der Rosenkavalier (155)
Richard Strauss | Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Risë Stevens

Princess von Werdenberg (Marschallin)
Lisa Della Casa

Baron Ochs
Otto Edelmann

Hilde Güden

Ralph Herbert

Martha Lipton

Alessio De Paolis

Italian Singer
Thomas Hayward

Thelma Votipka

Marsha Warren [Debut]

Princess' Major-domo
James McCracken

Vilma Georgiou

Shakeh Vartenissian

Sandra Warfield

Emilia Cundari [Debut]

Animal Vendor
Gabor Carelli

Adriano Vitale

Lawrence Davidson

Rudolf Mayreder

Faninal's Major-domo
Charles Anthony

Paul Franke

Police Commissioner
Osie Hawkins

Rudolf Kempe

Herbert Graf

Rolf Gérard

In revising the sets for Strauss' opera, Gérard utilized elements from the
previous production designed by Hans Kautsky.
Der Rosenkavalier received seven performances this season.

Production a gift of The Metropolitan Opera Guild

Review 1:

Review of Raymond Ericson in Musical America

More glitter, more youth, more visual beauty than has graced the Strauss-Hofmannsthal masterpiece at the Metropolitan at any time in memory was lavished on "Der Rosenkavalier" for this revival, after an absence of two seasons, with new settings and costumes and a largely new cast.

The production was designed by Rolf Gerard and staged by Herbert Graf, and between them they devised a few engaging and unviolent innovations. One was having Octavian arrive at Faninal's in view of the audience in a golden coach drawn by two live horses.

The musical performance was a match for the theatrical one. There was nervousness in the air-Rudolf Kempe, conducting the opera here for the first time, got off to a headlong start that caught his horns unaware, and the singers were not entirely comfortable with him nor with each other until well into the first act. But things settled down, and Mr. Kempe rewarded everyone with a vigorous, yet affectionate, performance which had sumptuousness of tone, warmth of feeling and that wisdom in tempos that permits the listener to forget about the pace.

For once we had a Marschallin who was not only beautiful but looked the age Hofmannsthal assigned to her -- about 32. Lisa Della Casa's youth and beauty really posed a problem for Octavian, torn between her and the equally ravishing Hilde Güden in the role of Sophie. It posed problem for the audience too, the same one posed by an actually child-like Juliet. A matronly maturity has become associated with certain episodes like the Marschallin's first-act monologue at the dressing table ruing age and the ravages of time. No one possibly could take Miss Della Casa seriously in such a lament, yet the paradox is inherent in the character called for by Strauss and his librettist. Here is a new experience that I suspect most listeners will enjoy getting used to.

Baron Ochs is one of the finest characterizations Otto Edelmann has disclosed at the Metropolitan. It is sly, lecherous, bumptious and, for just a moment at the end, movingly wistful. Never is it emptily boisterous or just giddy. Furthermore, though a few of his lowest notes are really beneath his range, Mr. Edelmann sings his music and never permits himself the familiar series of grunts and groans that often pass for singing in this part.

It is impossible to mention all of the good performances in the large cast, but note should be taken of the Marianne of Thelma Votipka, perfect as always; the ringing tenor of Thomas Hayward as the singer; Ralph Herbert's excellent Faninal; those fetching intriguers, Martha Lipton (Annina) and Alessio De Paolis (Valzacchi), and Osie Hawkins' impressive Commissar of Police. Emilia Cundari made her debut with the company in the brief appearance of the Milliner.

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