‹ Back to What's On Der Rosenkavalier

David McVicar's sumptuous period staging of Richard Strauss' comic masterpiece returns with a first-class cast.

The Marschallin, a 30-something aristocrat, is having an affair with the much younger Count Octavian. Although fearful he will leave her for a younger woman, she engineers the first meeting between her lover and the beautiful young Sophie, who is being forced into marriage with the unloveable Baron Ochs – with inevitable consequences.

Perfectly poised between comedy and pathos, Der Rosenkavalier supplies an evening of gorgeous music, lavish costumes and romantic intrigue; by turns comic and moving.

Supported by a generous gift from Dr Keith Howard OBE and the Howard Family

Running Time

Approximately 4 hours (including 2 intervals)

Language

Sung in German with English titles

What the critics say

...eloquently staged and very satisfyingly cast. ★ ★ ★ ★

The Guardian - Read full review

Whenever I shed a tear at the end of Der Rosenkavalier I know the conductor's got it right. On this one I ran out of hankies. ★ ★ ★ ★

What's On Stage - Read full review

The Music 

Cast
  • Marschallin Ylva Kihlberg
  • Octavian Helen Sherman
  • Baron Ochs Henry Waddington
  • Sophie von Faninal Fflur Wyn
  • Herr von Faninal William Dazeley (ex 2, 19 November), Paul Gibson (2, 19 November)
  • Marianne Victoria Sharp
  • Valzacchi Aled Hall
  • Annina Helen Évora
  • Italian Tenor Jung Soo Yun
  • Police Commissioner Dean Robinson
  • Marschallin's Major-domo Graham Russell
  • Faninal's Major-domo Ivan Sharpe
  • Notary Jeremy Peaker
  • Innkeeper David Llewellyn
  • 3 Noble Orphans Rachel J Mosley, Cordelia Fish, Hazel Croft
  • Pet Seller Warren Gillespie
  • Dressmaker Miranda Bevin
Creative Team
  • Conductor Aleksandar Markovic
  • Original Director David McVicar
  • Revival Director Elaine Tyler-Hall
  • Set Designer David McVicar
  • Costume Designer Tanya McCallin
  • Lighting Designer Paule Constable
  • Language Coach Rahel Wagner

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What you say

Comment from Paul Sibly

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Paul Sibly said ago

A glorious evening to open ON's all too short visit to Nottingham this Autumn.
I was interested by the previous comment from Leeds about the orchestra overwhelming the cast in Act 1; sitting in the dream circle at the Theatre Royal I felt the same was true here.

Comment from michael knapp

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michael knapp said ago

I was concerned after the First Act that we were in for a difficult evening. Others have commented on the problem of the orchestra often overwhelming the singing and this was particularly true of this Act. The acoustic in the Leeds theatre may have something to do with this, but the result with singers upstage and with not very powerful voices was to lose the intimacy of the plot. However after the interval everything picked up. I thought Henry Waddington was excellent, and Fflur Wyn an engaging Sophie. The Valzacchi of Aled Hall was one of the most entertaining I have seen!
Nice to see a traditional McVicar production again - so right for this opera.

Comment from Gordon

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Gordon said ago

I had been looking forward to this and I was not disappointed. The key to it is The Marschallin and I thought Miss Kihlberg was excellent. The casting was right. The drama was well handled and the acting was good. I love the music. I had a memorable evening.

Comment from John & Cathy Martins

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John & Cathy Martins said ago

We went back to see Rosenkavalier for a SECOND time last night, and wish there was a chance of a third. Even better second time around, one of the greatest experiences of our forty years of opera going. Is ANYTHING as good as that last half-hour?

Brilliantly funny staging, perfect orchestra (like always), spot-on singing and acting (like always) and the most poignant, overwhelming music.

Video it! It's brilliant. Opera North, you are better than world class!

Comment from Nicholas Dobson

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Nicholas Dobson said ago

Surprisingly for someone of my over-mature vintage, this is the first time I have seen this piece. It came across to me - someone of definite inexpertise - as an unusual combination of Marriage of Figaro type farce, rich and lovely singing parts and orchestration, golden eroticism and a quasi-philosophical disquisition on the inevitability of and need to accept ageing and its consequences. Plus of course, to enhance the decadent ambience, some anachronistic Viennese waltzes alongside post-Wagnerian orchestration. All made for a very satisfying evening with many enrapturing moments.

Comment from Keith Davies

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Keith Davies said ago

Very enjoyable though long and with some rather tedious sections. From Box BB the titles were more difficult to see than usual , I think due to the very bright lighting of the set. The amount of text and short time to read coupled with this poor visibility made reading difficult. We do not usually notice a problem.
The 'in a nutshell' was excellent - we had not spotted this before.
The peculiar drink rules are a pain and do not seem to apply to all Grand Theatre productions

Comment from Tony

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Tony said ago

What a splendid performance; outstanding men as Faninal and Ochs. And a trio to match Lott Graham Evans; Issikoski Coote Bevan; Helen Sherman was quite marvellous in voice and acting.

So all thing pass away and all things are made new and so we stumble on in intermingled sadness and joy, the hopes of love and the defeats of life. ON on a brilliant roll at the moment.

Comment from Ray Wilkinson

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Ray Wilkinson said ago

A memorable evening. Wonderful production-Marvellous singing and acting from principals and chorus: even the minor characters had some little bits of 'business'. Orchestra superb.Surtitles a bit difficult to read from the upper balcony. My eyesight is not wonderful and I needed the opera glasses, although during the second act, even these weren't effective. However my wife just managed to read the words.

Comment from Stephen

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Stephen said ago

One of our party didn't quite fall for Miss Kihlberg as she does come across perhaps as rather cool, but the rest of us thought the whole show was terrific - very moving and involving emotionally in the first act, and progressing steadily into comedy and resolution as it should. A very impressive evening overall. The theatre in Leeds of course is a huge help compared with bigger venues.

Comment from Stewart Thorp

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Stewart Thorp said ago

A superb production with a wonderful cast and magnificent orchestra. It was a most memorable evening. My only criticism is that the subtitle screens were either side of the stage, making it very difficult to follow what was happening on stage and the lyrics. Could the screens not be put above the stage? This might help to create a more complete experience.

Opera North response:

Dear Stewart,

Thank you for your comments.

Due to the design of Leeds Grand Theatre, surtitles above the stage would unfortunately not be visible from many places in the auditorium. Additionally, as we are a touring company, we need to use a flexible configuration that works for the sight lines in all the different venues that we tour to.

We hope that you enjoyed the performance overall and look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Comment from Elizabeth

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Elizabeth said ago

It was absolutely wonderful. Everyone was really excellent though I felt Helen Sherman and Aleksandr Markovic were particularly outstanding.
I hadn't realised what a feminist piece it is but I do now thanks to surtitles.
Opera North deserves praise too for what has been an outstanding series of productions. I only wished I had booked Billy Budd too.

Comment from Paul

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Paul said ago

Unfortunately the very low contrast settings on the surtitles for Der Rosenkavalier meant that they were very very difficult to read - and others around us felt the same. This is an issue I haven't previously noticed at the Grand (though its surtitle locations have never been wonderful). I hope that, taken with the bad decision NOT to provide surtitles for Billy Budd, this doesn't indicate that the "anti surtitle" faction within Opera North is reasserting itself! Provision of readable surtitles should be seen as an important part of your objective to improve "accessibility" of "Opera" at ON. Remember we don't all know the libretti or sit in the best seats in the house!

And, while we are on "non-artistic"matters, the new box office arrangements are poor on performance night - 2 ladies sitting in the new Opera North Box Office telling a long stream of people that they can't issue tickets and that they should go to the theatre where 1 lady operates a "cobbled together" PC work station with a queue of people, whilst 2 more ladies can only handle already printed out tickets - and have to keep interrupting the lady issuing new ones with various issues. Considering 5 different people are involved and that, this year ON introduced a £1.50 booking fee for purchases at the box office as well as by phone/on line, the resulting "Customer experience" is poor.

Opera North response:

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your feedback about the service you experienced at the Box Office and we are sorry if this was confusing. We will be undertaking a full review and making improvements before next season.

With regard to the surtitles screen, we can confirm that nothing was changed relating to the contrast settings for this performance, but our technical team will be looking into this further in case it is related to the lighting state on stage during particular scenes.

Comment from Mid Wales

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Mid Wales said ago

A very beautiful production with good dramatic direction for the principal characters. The powerful music of the opera tending to overshadow the singers or were their voices not powerful enough? Henry Waddington was outstanding as Baron Ochs. Children could have been noisier in Act III. Nevertheless a very satisfying experience.

Comment from Derek Hornby

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Derek Hornby said ago

Superb production. Good cast. Star is Flur Wyn.
Orchestra v.good.
Can we have Surtitles over the proscenium not in the wings?
Thanks.

Opera North response:

Dear Derek,

Thank you for your comments.

Due to the design of Leeds Grand Theatre, surtitles above the stage would unfortunately not be visible from many places in the auditorium. Additionally, as we are a touring company, we need to use a flexible configuration that works for the sight lines in all the different venues that we tour to.
We hope that you enjoyed the performance overall and look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Comment from David Beckham

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David Beckham said ago

Beautifully and impressively staged and stage-managed.
The cast were magnificent and there was some wonderful singing.....WHEN WE COULD HEAR IT!
Strauss's music is fantastic and Opera North orchestra very, very accomplished.....but we want to hear the singers too. Poor Helen Sherman battled throughout and, sadly, came off second-best. Fflur Wyn and Ylva Kiihlberg fared better, but the orchestra drowned some of their solos and the lovely trios and quartet at the end of Act 3.
Sorry! but we need a bit more balance....the orchestra is not just an accompaniment, especially with Strauss, but a rather more sympathetic duality with the singers would be preferred.

Comment from Ann Leeds

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Ann Leeds said ago

A very good start to the season. At first I was worried that the orchestra was too loud and was in danger of overwhelming the singers, but everything calmed down and we were left with a rich and heart-felt performance. I remember seeing this production first time around - it was well worth a revival. Richard Strauss is a rarity at ON and we should see more. It looks like being a wonderful season with not a musical in sight (TG).

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Cast and Creative Team

CAST

 
Marschallin Ylva Kihlberg
Octavian Helen Sherman
Baron Ochs Henry Waddington
Sophie von Faninal Fflur Wyn
Herr von Faninal William Dazeley (ex 2, 19 November)
  Paul Gibson (2, 19 November)
Marianne Victoria Sharp
Valzacchi Aled Hall
Annina Helen Évora
Italian Tenor Jung Soo Yun
Police Commissioner Dean Robinson
Marschallin's Major-domo Graham Russell
Faninal's Major-domo Ivan Sharpe
Notary Jeremy Peaker
Innkeeper David Llewellyn
3 Noble Orphans Rachel J Mosley
  Cordelia Fish
  Hazel Croft
Pet Seller Warren Gillespie
Dressmaker Miranda Bevin

CREATIVE TEAM

 
Conductor Aleksandar Markovic
Original Director David McVicar
Revival Director Elaine Tyler-Hall
Set Designer David McVicar
Costume Designer Tanya McCallin
Lighting Designer Paule Constable
Language Coach Rahel Wagner

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