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I leave to you, dear reader, such inspection of the various nudes and undresses which flit around the entrances and exit of the brothel's chambers as may intrigue you in the final act. Hofmannsthal envisaged only a cheap hotel but, as Beecham hilariously relates about the first Covent Garden production, our Lord Chamberlain insisted there could be either a bed on stage or alternatively a vague reference to such a thing -- certainly not both. Robert Carsen cares not a fig for such niceties, nor does his lecherous Baron. But the latter gets his comeuppance when showered with bills for the evening's dalliance and besieged by a mob of those claiming to be his offspring [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 11, 41:20-43:00].

A scene from Act III. DVD Screenshot © 2004 ORF
A scene from Act III. DVD Screenshot © 2004 ORF

 

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Copyright © 1 January 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

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