新着情報
2005/06/24
The Hollywood Reporter
Madeleine Shaner
Helnwein - Inventiveness gone wild in an extreme realization of Richard Strauss' opera, stunningly reinvented in brilliant living color.
"Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss at the Los Angeles Opera
What dominates, however, in a manner I've seldom seen is Helnwein's use of color -- the monochromatic blue of Act 1 even extends to skin color. Herr von Faninal's house is bathed in a rich golden sheen, from the orange glow of Ochs' silly wig to the platinum of the lovely Sophie's almost-there dress. The final act, in a cheap restaurant, is mainly a glaring red, again from Ochs' wig to his skin and the costumes of the huge band of players. The walls of the restaurant are, incidentally, lined with Helnwein's own works, mainly huge photo-realistic portraits of contemporary women. The 200 costumes Helnwein designed for the piece deserve a whole review for themselves this is inventiveness gone wild, a genius concept, and a huge addition to the production. There might be purists in disagreement here, but this would seem to be a "Rosenkavalier" for the ages.
Four hours and 15 minutes sounds like a huge slice of one's life to spend on one opera. Surprisingly, under Maximilian Schell's inventive helming, matched by Gottfried Helnwein's dazzling set and costume design, Alan Burrett's fantasy lighting, and Kent Nagano's epic conducting, Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier speeds along like a colorful clockwork train. Written in 1911, as the Austro-Hungarian Empire approached its collapse, the opera celebrates, or remembers, the last of the 18th century when presumably most hearts were young and gay. Life was about pleasure and romance and youth, which everyone knows is wasted on the young.
The (slightly aging) Marschallin (Adrianne Pieczonka) is in flagrante very delicto with her 17-year-old lover, Count Octavian Rofrano (Alice Coote in the "trouser role"), when her country cousin, Baron Ochs (Kurt Rydl) comes a calling. Octavian quickly disguises himself as a chambermaid, and the ox of a man (his name is no mistake) tells of his plans to wed Sophie von Faninal (Elizabeth Futral), the beautiful teenage daughter of very wealthy parvenu, all the time making crude passes at the pretty chambermaid "Mariandal." The Marschallin mischievously offers her young count as the silver rose-bearer to Ochs' intended, which turns out not to be a good idea.

The erstwhile comedy of manners tumbles quickly into knockabout farce with undertones of the sadness of the passing of time as the Marschallin bemoans her years: "Often I rise in the middle of the night and stop all the clocks," she says. Act 2 moves to the new palace of Herr von Faninal (Robert Bork), where the silver rose is presented, Ochs' troth is crassly plighted, and Sophie and Octavian fall head over heels. In Act 3, Ochs gets his comeuppance when the seemingly compliant "Mariandal" demolishes the old goat with a ghoulish avalanche of coffins, skeletons, tainted wine, clowns, ghosts of dead children, trap doors and haunted mirrors. Maybe there's a bit more here than Strauss intended, buts it's still fun. And, believe it or not, everything turns out all right in the end.
There's a rich score -- intricate and clean-edged, masterfully conducted by the about-to-be-ex-music director for Los Angeles Opera, the splendid Nagano -- sublime singing by Coote, Pieczonka and Futral, several elegant, nostalgic Viennese waltzes, and some great comedic interplay that merrily pulls the freight. Rydl is a superb basso profundo and a marvelously comic actor he brings the house down with his triumphant waltz in Act 2.
What dominates, however, in a manner I've seldom seen is Helnwein's use of color -- the monochromatic blue of Act 1 even extends to skin color. Herr von Faninal's house is bathed in a rich golden sheen, from the orange glow of Ochs' silly wig to the platinum of the lovely Sophie's almost-there dress. The final act, in a cheap restaurant, is mainly a glaring red, again from Ochs' wig to his skin and the costumes of the huge band of players. The walls of the restaurant are, incidentally, lined with Helnwein's own works, mainly huge photo-realistic portraits of contemporary women. The 200 costumes Helnwein designed for the piece deserve a whole review for themselves
this is inventiveness gone wild, a genius concept, and a huge addition to the production. Burrett's lighting adds the glow that burnishes these scenic artworks. There might be purists in disagreement here, but this would seem to be a "Rosenkavalier" for the ages.
Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
2005, with Maximilian Schell, Los Angeles Opera
Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
2005
Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
2005
DER ROSENKAVALIER
Presented by Los Angeles Opera
Credits:
Composer: Richard Strauss
Librettist: Hugo Von Hofmannsthal
Conductor: Kent Nagano
Set and costume designer: Gottfried Helnwein
Director: Maximilian Schell
Lighting designer: Alan Burrett
Choreographer: Johann Kresnik
Concertmaster: Stuart Canin
Chorus master: William Vendice
Dramaturg: Gernot Friedel
Cast:
Count Octavian Rofrano: Alice Coote
The Marschallin: Adrianne Pieczonka
Marschallin's Major-Domo: John Atkins
Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Kurt Rydl
Copyright 2005 The Hollywood Reporter




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