The IU Opera & Ballet Theater is presenting Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier for the first time since 1966. It's a comedy and a bittersweet story of young love and growing old.
Current IU student Pauliina Linnosaari and recent grad Heather Youngquist are singing the central role of the Marshallin, a sadder and wiser older woman.
Pauliina Linnosaari is from Helsinki, Finland where she sang with the Finnish National Opera for two seasons. She also sang with the summer opera studio in Weimar.
Heather Youngquist has currently taken her career to Chicago. Her family is from Iowa. "My grandfather brought the family name from Sweden. âYoungquist' means branch of heather and Youngquist's father named me âHeather' to keep the connection."
More And More
The word âmore' keeps cropping up in descriptions of Der Rosenkavalier: more cast members, more complex orchestral and vocal scoring, more music and staging rehearsals, and at four hours plus in duration just more!
We asked what the âmore' is for the role of the Marshallin.
"It's the mixture of lightness and darker emotions about being lonely," says Linnosaari. "For me the challenge is the change from the lightness of the first act and after all this comedy to the seriousness of the third act. In between there's a lot of things happening and Marschallin is not involved, but when she returns in the third act, she has to be in command and kind of pull all the strings together."
Tough Decisions And Peace
Youngquist agrees. "Pauliina brings up a good point about the contrast. There has to be lightness in the first act and some tough decisions in the third, but she does go on, and this is after all a comedy. I actually think that the Marschallin finds peace with herself. And I think we can trust that her life will go on and that she'll find a new way of being that will satisfy her and keep her going."