Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2021

Honors Major Advisor

Waltraud Meierhofer

Thesis Mentor

Bruce Nottingham-Spencer


This thesis analyzes the use of Viennese (Wienerisch) in Der Rosenkavalier—an opera composed by Richard Strauss with libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. This analysis will be used to discuss how proper representation can help make characters more relatable and enjoyable for the participating audience, as well as give proper insight into the background of a character and how that may influence their motives throughout the performance. To support this analysis, a brief historical and sociolinguistic analysis of Viennese is introduced. A phonetic comparison, by way of specific scene examples, of Nico Castel’s 2002 International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcription and translation, phonetic transcription based on David Adams’ traditional Standard German Diction Rules for Singers, and the performers’ choice in the use of Viennese is also introduced. Scenes are compared from performance examples by The Royal Opera Covert Garden (1985), Film with the Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra (1994), Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (2009), and The Metropolitan Opera (2017).


Wienerisch, Viennese, Der Rosenkavalier, Opera, Dialect

Total Pages

42 pages


Copyright © 2021 Shelby R. TIpling