Story & Setting:
After his creation of two highly-charged operas (Elektra and Salome), Strauss turned to his previous collaborator Hugo von Hoffmansthal to write the libretto for a lighter, more humorous piece. The original setting is 1740s Vienna, but the piece contains many elements that are either fictitious (such as the silver rose presentation) or anachronistic (the waltz). The current Met production updates the time to the last days of the Hapsburg Empire.
Written with Mozart’s societal comedic operas in mind, this work features a tangled web of intrigue and love at first sight, accompanied by an ultra-Romantic score. Strauss’ lush orchestration alternately serves to bring out raucous waltzes and mythical dreamlike sequences. The three main characters, including the title role of young Octavian, are sung by women, and the final trio is considered one of the most beautiful ensembles ever written for the opera stage.
4 hours & 15 minutes
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Finale Trio (Renée Fleming, Erin Morley and Elīna Garanča)
Met Opera (current production)
Presentation of the Rose (Susan Graham & Christine Schäfer )
Met Opera (previous production)