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Music Text

Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (G,Cz,E,F,I,R)

Scoring

Major roles: dramS,lyrcolS,dramM,charB,B; minor roles: S,A,T;
small roles: 2S,M,A,8T,Bar,6B,mimes; small chorus
3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(I=Ccl,II=Ccl,III=Dcl,Ebcl).bcl(=bhn).
3(III=dbn)-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(3):tgl/t.bells/cast/cyms/tamb/t.mil/SD/
BD/glsp/bells/sleigh bells/ratchet-cel-pft-2harp-
strings(16.16.12.10.8 reduced where necessary)Off-stage orchestra: 2.
1.1.Ebcl.2-2.1.0.0-perc:SD-pft-harm- strings(1.1.1.1.1 doubl
ed if necessary)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
1/26/1911
Hofoper, Dresden
Conductor: Ernst von Schuch
Company: Dresden Hofoper

Roles

FELDMARSCHALLIN, PRINCESS VON WERDENBERG Soprano
OCTAVIAN, COUNT ROFRANO Soprano
BARON OCHS VON LERCHENAU Bass
HERR VON FANINAL, a wealthy parvenu Baritone
SOPHIE, his daughter Soprano
MARIANNE LEITMETZERIN, her duenna Soprano
VALZACCHI, an Italian intriguer Tenor
ANNINA, his partner Contralto
POLICE COMMISSIONER Bass
MARSCHALLIN'S MAJOR-DOMO (STRUHAN) Tenor
FANINAL'S MAJOR-DOMO Tenor
NOTARY Bass
INNKEEPER Tenor
ITALIAN SINGER Tenor
3 Noble Orphans Soprano/Mezzo/Alto
DRESSMAKER Soprano
4 Marschallin's footmen 2 Tenors, 2 Basses
4 waiters Tenor, 3 Basses
MAHOMET mime
Scholar flautist, hairdresser, hairdresser's assistant, widow of noble family silent roles
Footmen, couriers, heyducks, cookboys, guests, musicians, 2 watchmen, chorus
Time and Place

Vienna in the reign of Empress Maria Theresa

Synopsis

After a night of passion the Marschallin prepares to say farewell to her young lover Octavian. Noises are heard outside the bedroom: it is not her husband but her cousin Baron Ochs. Octavian, disguised as a chambermaid Mariandel, escapes but not before catching the Baron's eye. Ochs plans to marry the daughter of Faninal, a recently ennobled financeer. He asks the Marschallin to recommend a young nobleman to present the traditional silver rose of betrothal and she suggests Octavian. The Marschallin opens her room to petitioners, tradesfolk and Ochs's unsavoury retinue. Left alone, she remembers her own loveless betrothement. Octavian returns and she explains that in time he will leave her for a younger lover. Wounded, he rushes away. Sophie is presented with the rose by Octavian and they are immediately attracted to each other. Faninal presents Ochs and she is horrified by his boorish behaviour. She begs Octavian to save her but their intimacy is observed by two Italian intriguers in the Baron's employ. Ochs fights a duel with Octavian and is slightly wounded. Octavian is dismissed and enlists the intriguers to deliver an invitation to Ochs for an assignation with Mariandel. Ochs attempts to seduce Mariandel at an inn but they are interrupted by strange apparitions and someone claiming to be his wife. The police are summoned to quell the uproar, witnessed by Faninal and Sophie. The Marschallin arrives and calms the scandalous mood, telling Ochs his suit is over. When Ochs learns that Octavian and Mariandel are the same and that the Marschallin herself is implicated in the deception he leaves, chased by creditors. The Marschallin, recognising that Octavian and Sophie are already in love, reconciles Faninal to bless the match.

Moods

Comic, Romantic

Subjects

History, Literary, Relationships, Society

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