[The coolest of cavaliers: Paula Murrihy (Octavian) and Christiane Karg (Sophie) in the deadly Frankfurt take on Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier” staged by Claus Guth, Frankfurt 2015. – Photo Credit: and again, credit goes to Monika Rittershaus.]
The Frankfurt “Rosenkavalier” (not on the menu at the moment) has been on my mind again since we talked about “Don Giovanni” concepts, where Guth used this very death retrospect trope in 2008 already for Salzburg. Much like Giovanni there is receiving a fatal wound at the beginning of the opera and subsequently dies throughout the evening, here it is the Marschallin (Amanda Majewski) as the central figure who is fatally ill, muses on life in a retrospect of sorts, from a perspective of being close to death, and then dies in the end in the cellar of the sanatroy-hopsital-senior citizen residence postulated by the set designs.
In a none-too-subtle image, Octavia and Sophie step aboard the elevator going up, while the Marschallin remains in the morgue-like cellars to die.
To me, it does not reach the layered examination of age and death suggested by Tobias Kratzer in Bremen (2010), or the iconic succinctness of the splintering Ice Rose of Peter Konwitschnys (2002), but they all share the same cold color scheme.
But even if the White Shirt is a black shirt: a shirt is a shirt is a shirt.