White Shirt Monday: Ascenseur pour l’échafaud

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[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.

11 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Ascenseur pour l’échafaud”

  1. a shirt is a shirt is a shirt.

    apropos of nothing except all on my mind is “Carol” these days, it occurred to me when I watched it (again, 6th time, whose counting) this week, that Carol is like what would happen if Octavian actually did the right thing and chose the Marschallin at the end. 🙂


    1. True. (or, as I retold it to a novice these days: “This Octavian. He is kind of blind.”)
      And it would lead us to the question who Sophie and/or Ochs are in this setting?


      1. Ah yes, hmm. In our Carol/Rosenkavalier mash-up, obviously Ochs is (are?) all the irrelevant and clueless men, wrapped into one. None of them are as boorish as Ochs but certainly as clueless.

        Now Sophie. Now see, no way are we giving up The Trio, right? So maybe Sophie is a twist on Abby, only she’s their cheerleader, not a love interest (anymore)?


  2. But wouldn’t make that Abby the Marschallin, who graciously steps away, Carol the very well off Rofrano, and Therese the wide-eyed, but determined Sophie?


    1. but then who’s in bed with whom in the beginning? (which let’s face it, between that and the monologue and trio is all that really matters 😉 )


  3. now all i’m thinking is that isn’t the scene in the department store the presentation of the rose? (ahem. right.)

    please god, make me stop already!


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