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The Sunday Opera: Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier"

We’re winding down our time with London’s Royal Opera with their production of Richard Strauss’ gently romantic comedy of errors “Der Rosenkavalier” on this week’s Sunday Opera (8/1 3:00 p.m.).   Renee Fleming heads the cast as the Marschallin whose loveless marriage who has turned her affections to the young count Octavian (Alice Coote) but realizes that their affair cannot possibly last.  Octavian is chosen to be the silver rose bearer (hence the title) to deliver the rose to Baron Ochs’ (Matthew Rose) intended, the young Sophie (Sophie Bevan).   Ochs is the Marschallin’s boorish and impoverished cousin who is an insatiable womanizer and is only marrying Sophie for her father, Faninal’s (Jochen Schmckenbecher), money.  When Octavian arrives with the rose, he immediately falls in love with Sophie, setting the scene for intrigues, romances, and a bittersweet ending.   Andris Nelsons conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera in this performance.  

Stay tuned after the opera for more music by Richard Strauss as Host Michael Kownacky brings you a piece he wrote as a thank you to Vienna for awarding him the city’s Beethoven Prize the year prior.  The piece, which remained unpublished for quite some time, was written for brass and timpani, and this recording of Festmusik der stadt Wien will be performed by Onyx Brass along with members of Septura with Scott Bywater as timpanist.   John Wilson conducts.

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Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.