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Der Rosenkavalier

Rosenkavalier Act I
 "Here, One Could Weep"

The American singer is heaven sent. She poured forth a cornucopia of warmth and artistic sense. She gracefully honored the imposed rococo tone, then moved like a living art noveau ornament, and then she was again the saucy count, who prances frivolously in a coat and pertly à la Viennese. Above all, she was an enthusiastic lover, who showed and emphasized every rapture, with all the wounds that the life of love inflicts.

Ms. Thompson met Strauss´ expectations ideally. He had claimed earlier that he needed "a very good actress", saying "it won´t work with the usual opera singer". Miss Thompson succeeded in one as well as the other. Her rounded, magnificent mezzo did not miss the wondrous splendor of the mood, but also turned to the areas of dreamy sweetness and endangered happiness.

The "Rosenkavalier" premiere in Mönchengladbach has confirmed the correctness of the title choice. CertainIy the Marschallin has the "higher realm of emotion" (Hofmannsthal). Certainly, the Baron Ochs von Lerchenau is the theatrically gripping antagonist:  lecherous, affable, and coarse.

It is Octavian, the bearer of the rose, who projects the concept of the opera in its totalitv. This Opera nestles in bittersweet thoughts of farewell, melancholy and resignation, while preciously balancing every despair with the inherent awareness of youth, departure, and the future. Octavian ensures all this by gathering and diffracting, like a prism, the timeliness of the work. We understand this when we have a bearer of the rose like Margaret Thompson.

Because of Margaret Thompson, this "Rosenkavalier" may be called a blessing.