‘Der Rosenkavalier’ is Richard Strauss’s most popular opera, and perhaps one of the greatest comic operas since Mozart’s. The work premiered just three years before the start of World War I. It traces the artistic heritage of the Austrian-Hungarian empire from the days of Mozart, in which the story is set, to the morbid distraction of the Viennese Art Nouveau. Musically, the work is a far cry from Strauss’ earlier efforts like ‘Salome’ and ‘Elektra’: he leaves behind the hair-raising expressionism of said works, and he embraces tonality and melody like he never did before. Opera.