White Shirt Monday: Irmgard, the Roses!

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[Wake up and smell the coffee roses! It’s Monday! And probably my favorite poster from the photo exhibition in the Gustav-Mahler-Saal at Vienna Staatsoper: stills from the first “Rosenkavalier” given in the rebuilt house after WWII. – Hilde Gueden (Sophie), Irmgard Seefried (Octavian) and Maria Reining (Marschallin) in Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier”, Vienna 1955.]

The 1950s may have been straight as an arrow, but there is that thing about winged Cupid painted blind and all that, and also, arrows U-Turning might have been the 1950s U-Hauling because despite a lot of outward homophobia and horrible ensuing actions, “Mädchen in Uniform” with Lili Palmer and Romy Schneider kissing still happened (ha!), and so did this and other “Rosenkavalier” productions (double ha, and ha again!).

I am on cough meds, so I nearly subtitled Maria Reining with “Busty McFabulous”. I apologize. – Neverminding the rose there, Irmgard?


4 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Irmgard, the Roses!”

  1. There don’t seem to be extracts of that particular Rosenkavalier on YT but there is one with Seefried as Octavian. You got me curious since I only knew her as (really marvelous) Susanna and Zerlina so far. Very interesting to hear her in a dramatic mezzo role but I like it, at least in the first Duet (with Rita Streich) on YT. A pity this sort of “Fach-cross-casting” is not common today anymore.


    1. reminds me of our talk about voice sizes and tessitura a while back – we really seem to have lost flexibility, also in imagining voices beyond fixed limits. That, and Seefried is an exceptional case (now you’ve got me looking up her Zerlina!).


      1. I suppose you know her Sull’aria with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the Karajan recording, otherwise check that one out too! (although I may be biased since that was may first Figaro recording, and I still think it’s one of the best there is)


        1. oh yes, that one is wonderful!

          (my first was Böhm – with Janowitz, Mathis and Troyanos. An odd choice for a Cherubino perhaps, but one that made a lasting impression!)


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