Stop the Clocks!

Time, inexorably fleeting, is central to Der Rosenkavalier, our opera of the week.

Early in the opera, the Marchellin tells how she gets up at night to stop the clocks, fearing time's passing. She sings of time gone as she frees her young lover to a younger love. The final trio says it all in amazing mingling of music about joy and sweet gratitude and sadness.

Listen here to the final trio from the classic performance we'll watch. Die Feldmarschallin is sung by a majestic Felicity Lott (above on right), Octavian by Anne Sofie von Otter and Sophie by Barbara Bonney, (above left, at the presentation of the silver rose.) It's from the Wiener Staatsoper under Carlos Kleiber, 1994.

To linger on the music, listen here to a Berlin 1992 New Year's Eve Concert with three other wonderful voices. Kathleen Battle is Sophie, Frederika von Stade is Octavian and Renee Fleming is in her favourite role as the Marchelin.

Here's some reflections on the opera, its significance to Strauss, and that theme of time, passing not only in the lives of these people, but in the society in transition. Synopsis here. And our web page for a long ago first showing of this production here.

Fast forward in time to Covid-restricted 2020, and Garsington Opera's extraordinary lock-down production, currently screening on OperaVision and YouTube.

Here's the link to the Garsington Rosenkavalier on YouTube. It's available until April 2022.

Lots more about the opera on their site and reviews. And OperaVision has more here about this modern Rosenkavalier - with images and a discussion of the opera by the director and conductor of this exquisite production. ' Exquisite music, poignant comedy and fairy tale romance: Der Rosenkavalier has it all', says OperaVision). The Marschallin is sung by Miah Persson, and (as below) Octavian (Quinquin) by Hanna Hipp and Sophie by Madison Leonard.