The erstwhile comedy of manners tumbles quickly into knockabout farce with undertones of the sadness of the passing of time as the Marschallin bemoans her years: "Often I rise in the middle of the night and stop all the clocks," she says. Act 2 moves to the new palace of Herr von Faninal (Robert Bork), where the silver rose is presented, Ochs' troth is crassly plighted, and Sophie and Octavian fall head over heels. In Act 3, Ochs gets his comeuppance when the seemingly compliant "Mariandal" demolishes the old goat with a ghoulish avalanche of coffins, skeletons, tainted wine, clowns, ghosts of dead children, trap doors and haunted mirrors. Maybe there's a bit more here than Strauss intended, buts it's still fun. And, believe it or not, everything turns out all right in the end.