Met Opera on Demand Catalog
(Feb. 8, 1969)
Composer: Richard Strauss
Librettist: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Böhm; Rysanek, Grist, Ludwig, Knoll, Berry
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 2 min.
Strauss’s poignant fairy tale of 18th-century Vienna is brilliantly realized by a glittering cast under the musical direction of the great Karl Böhm, a friend and protégé of the composer. Vienna’s own Leonie Rysanek is the beautiful and wise Marschallin, the woman who knows her affair with the impetuous Octavian (a superb Christa Ludwig) will not last forever. The enchanting Reri Grist sings Sophie, the girl who captures the young man’s heart. Water Berry is appropriately loveable and boorish as Sophie’s would-be fiancé, the rustic Baron Ochs, who becomes the victim of Octavian’s elaborate joke. Nicolai Gedda is luxuriously cast as the Italian Singer.