"Gottfried Helnwein's wondrous staging of "Der Rosenkavalier" is eccentric and anachronistic — yet utterly faithful to its spirit.
The thing you should know about this "Rosenkavalier" is that it is terrific. Richard Strauss' opera sounds great and looks sensational. It is excellently sung, sumptuously conducted by Kent Nagano and, thanks to Gottfried Helnwein, wondrously strange.
Helnwein — the Austrian artist (painter, photographer, performance artist, filmmaker) who has a studio in downtown L.A. — is known for everything from Marilyn Manson videos to Holocaust installations. He is responsible for the sets, costumes and that ad (which, by the way, looks like an image from a recent staging of a Schumann oratorio that Helnwein designed in Düsseldorf).
Helnwein's vision of "Rosenkavalier" is monochromatic and a riot of color. It is oddly traditional yet seriously odd. It is updated but couldn't be more 18th century. And none of those opposites contradicts."