Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

by: Alexander Campbell

Princess Marie Therese, the Marschallin, is enjoying an extra-marital affair with adolescent Count Octavian. Interrupted by the Marschallin’s impoverished country cousin Baron Ochs, Octavian escapes disguised as her maid, Mariandel. Octavian falls in love with Sophie, daughter of rich merchant Faninal, whilst delivering her a silver rose, an engagement token from Ochs. Appalled by Ochs’s behaviour Octavian wounds him and, disguised as Mariandel, lures him to a disreputable tavern to disgrace him. Octavian’s plan goes awry. The Marschallin arrives. Using her status, she forces Ochs to withdraw to protect her own reputation, wistfully resigning herself to losing Octavian to Sophie.

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