12 December 2016 at 3.16pm | 3 Comments
The production follows two recent successes on the part of the director in London – Dialogues des Carmélites and Falstaff – and while staging both of these operas presented challenges, the task of tackling Strauss's masterpiece is perhaps even greater:
‘Der Rosenkavalier is a very difficult thing to direct because it is perhaps the social commentary that has ever been written', says the Canadian. 'You’re dealing with a very specific society with very specific codes of behaviour and interaction'.
Carsen and his creative team have been inspired by Strauss's own environment and times, and have opted to set their production in the early years of the 20th century, as World War I loomed and European empires began to crumble:
'In this production we have wanted to set this piece exactly in the time that Strauss wrote it – 1910. We were very inspired by artists and architects of the Vienna Secession.
'In Act I, you're in this somewhat elevated place; in Act II, you're somewhere in between; and in Act III you're in this seedy, trashy bordello where all the characters in the opera appear in this place where none of them should be.
'The whole thing is a symbol for the end of the world. There's a strange farewell to this age of tradition – a less brutal world'.
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Der Rosenkavalier runs 19 December 2016–24 January 2017. Tickets are still available.
The production is a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Teatro Regio, Turin, and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, and is given with generous philanthropic support from The Monument Trust, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Simon and Virginia Robertson, Susan and John Singer, the Friends of Covent Garden and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.