the Octavian Mirror

In All, Mirrors by Mark Evans

Octavian Mirror 7.5"

The Octavian mirror is composed of a silver gilt frame with handmade rays of clear gilded resin topped with quarts spheres.  The inner rings of the frame are studded with moonstones in shades from off-white to grey to taupe.  Surely there is a better word for taupe.

The “convex mirror” is actually a large clear glass lens backed by a mirror.  The reflection is an upsidedown distorted view of the world.

This mirror is about 7.5  inches in diameter and is currently in my studio pending being sent to one of my showrooms.

Jewelry for walls.

Octavian Side

Klingsor Detail

The Octavian mirror is named after the character Count Octavian in Richard Strauss’ opera, Der Rosenkavalier, or ‘The Knight of the Rose’.  The opera is set in Vienna c.1740 among the revels of the aristocracy. It centers on four main characters: the Marshallen, a 30-something aristocrat trapped in an unhappy marriage, the 17-year-old Octavian with whom she is having a secret affair, her dim-witted cousin Baron Ochs, and Ochs’ fiancée, the young and beautiful Sophie.

In the world of the opera, it is the (invented) tradition for a suitor to employ a young man to present a silver rose to a young lady on his behalf. To this end, Count Octavian finds himself in Ochs’ employ. Inevitably falling head-over-heels for Sophie, and her for him, together they must find a way to outwit the baron.

This opera is a pastiche of Mozart but is also drenched in beguiling Viennese waltzes.  The duet that Octavian has with Sophie when he presents the silver rose is a sublime musical interlude where the couple fall hopelessly in love.  The final trio with Octavian, Sophie and the Marshallen is otherworldly.

Susan Graham as Octavian Susan Graham disguised as Mariandel RenŽe Fleming as the Marschallin Kristinn Sigmundsson as Baron Ochs Miah Persson as Sophie in Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier." A scene from Act II of Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier." Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera Taken during the rehearsal on October 6, 2009 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.



The Upper Belvedere, Vienna by Canaletto.