Der Rosenkavalier (Op. 59) (The Knight of the Rose) is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière’s comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. It was first performed at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on 26 January 1911 under the direction of Max Reinhardt.
In Act 1 the room fills with supplicants to the Princess Marie Therese von Werdenberg. An Italian tenor sent by the Portuguese Ambassador serenades the Princess ("Di rigori armato"), while Baron Ochs works out the marriage contract with the Princess's lawyer. Rudely interrupting the tenor's song, Ochs tells the lawyer to demand a dower from Sophie's family; to no avail, the lawyer attempts to explain that such is impossible under the law (Ochs confuses dower with dowry).