* Notes *
My enthusiasm for opera is well-known enough for the people around me to have picked up on it. It was my good fortune to be given a staff guest ticket for the final dress rehearsal of Der Rosenkavalier last Wednesday. I have been to dress rehearsals before, but only in the Grand Tier or Dress Circle, so I was looking forward to seeing what happened down on the Orchestra level where the production team is.
The experience made it evident just how many people it takes to get a production to its final state. I sat behind the wardrobe people, and there were such a lot of them discussing how the costumes looked and what adjustments needed to be made.
The production is standard fare, much like Thierry Bosquet's other work I have seen. The set involved trompe-l'œil, just like his 1997 Tosca, 1990 Die Fledermaus, and 2000 Don Giovanni. All the singing was good, Joyce DiDonato seems like a fine Octavian and Kristinn Sigmundsson sounds better as Baron Ochs than as the Commendatore. The orchestra also sounded quite together.
* Tattling *
The production team spoke a great deal during the rehearsal, as is to be expected. One of the best things I overheard was one woman telling the tailor "That cravat is amazing!"
I must admit, I am not terribly fond of Richard Strauss or of this particular opera. The first time I heard it, I was struck by how dissonant certain parts are. But after this third go, I was able to to find something in it that was moving.