I have a confession to make. *Der Rosenkavalier*, Strauss and Hofmannsthal's comic masterpiece, would also rank among the top five or six greatest operas--IMHO--ever composed--in any time--in any place! For years, I've treasured my DVD of the Met's 1982 performance, with Kiri Te Kanawa as the "Marschallin" and Tatiana Troyanos in the role of "Octavian." (A copy which enjoys pride of place at the *top* of my own personal opera stash!) Against that standard, how does this new performance measure up? Well, I think my treasure has been surpassed! To begin with we have the great Nathaniel Merrill / Robert O'Hearn production, which is the very hallmark of the Met, and has never been bettered. No other house can equal these sets for Rosenkavalier. No other house should even try! :) The singing is splendid. Renee Fleming's "Marschallin" is perfection itself. And Susan Graham's "Octavian"--what a mezzo we have in her! What a gift! Kristinn Sigmundsson, the Icelandic bass, is a wonderful "Ochs," and reminds me much of Kurt Moll in his prime. And let's not forget "Sophie." I've seen Christine Schafer in roles as diverse as "Gretel" and "Lulu," but how could she ever top Sophie? Schafer brings such delicacy to the role, and her singing is sublime. Her great duet with Octavian in Act II, beginning at "Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren" is loveliness itself, and like "Dahin muss ich zuruck," the enchantment of this moment will last through eternity! Who could ever forget such a Rosenkavalier! :) N.
Pros well paced, great story, great actors, magnificent singing