Der Rosenkavalier

Richard Strauss

As time goes by

“Der Rosenkavalier” by Richard Strauss, is a wonderful comedy of errors that reflects upon the passage of time. Set in eighteenth century imperial Vienna, it tells the story of the romance between an aristocratic woman at the gates of later life and a handsome boy of seventeen.To better understand the plot and the characters, we wander the streets of Vienna and its majestic buildings in order to breathe in the spirit of Strauss. Amongst other spots, we visit the Belvedere Museum, the museum dedicated to Austrian art by expressionist painters, in order to see some of the works that inspired this story.

As an experiment—and to better explain the places that Strauss and “Der Rosenkavalier” occupy within the history of opera and music—we’ll put on a mock climb with Elías Coll from the Center for Modernization of Mountaineering of Catalonia.

We’ll also interview at the Wiener Staatsoper the austrian soprano Martina Serafín, the Latvian mezzosoprano Elina Garanca and American soprano Erin Morley, each one an expert in the main characters of The Marschallin, Octavian and Sophie, respectively.

With psychologist Patricia Ramírez Loeffler, we’ll talk about the passage of time, about how it affects us all, about our fear of aging, about couples with a significant age difference, but also, about giving up and accepting.

And since Vienna is a city with a long tradition of ballroom dancing—as well as being the waltz capital par excellence—we’ll pay it a fitting tribute with competitive dancers Chris Holezik and Eva Fus, who will dance one of the most famous waltzes from “Der Rosenkavalier”.

This is undoubtedly one of the most universal operas in the world because it speaks of something that equalizes us all: the inexorable passage of time and what each one of us does with it.

"Der Rosenkavalier" Festpielhaus Baden-Baden 2009 UNITEL, ZDF 3sat
"Nozze di Figaro" UNITEL 1976
Footage: FloweTimeLapse/

Elías Coll
Patricia Ramírez Loeffler
Martina Serafín
Chris Holezik
Elina Garanca
Eva Fus
Erin Morley