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Der Rosenkavalier at the DNO

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So, last night I saw Der Rosenkavalier performed here by the DNO for the first time.

Simon Rattle - conductor
Director - Brigitte Fasbaender
Concept - Willy Decker
Marschallin - Johanni van Oostrum
Baron Ochs - Kurt Rydl
Octavian - Karin Strobos
Faninal - Michael Kraus
Sophie - Sally Matthews

The staging by Willy Decker was brilliant. Consisting of castle walls surrounding a room, which were set into the ground at an angle. With each progressive act as the story become more absurd the angle decreased and the walls eventually were about 45 degrees from the ground.
The room was decorated with a few spaced out pieces of simple furniture, which were used very well.
Costumes were very imaginative with colours representing each faction (faninals servants vs Och's entourage etc...)
The acting was brilliant, very much bringing out the comic side of the opera. Both Octavian and the Marschallin were stand-ins, but Octavian stole the show. She acted so naturally in the role that one felt a great attachment to this young character.

Simon Rattle leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic could not have been better. Rattle made every transition seamless and very much brought out the spirit of the opera.
The singing of Baron Ochs was very good, Octavian and the Marschallin were absolutely great though occasionally Octavian was drowned out a little bit. Sophie was probably the vocal highlight, she has a very beautiful voice and controlled the vibrato perfectly.

Overall, this production was heart warming and engaging. The characters, particularly Octavian, seemed life-like and one felt a great deal of emotion for them.
Karin Strobos was particularly fantastic and acted the boyish part perfectly. Watch out for this singer in the future.
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