I agree with BlueRidge that Der Rosenkavalier probably isn't the best for newbies. The music is absolutely gorgeous, but it isn't effervescent, frothy, semi-slapstick comedy like Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. It's a more contemplative, cerebral semi-sex comedy. For example, the Overture is basically the musical portrayal of two people having really slammin' sex. Then the curtain rises and there's an older lady and a young man in bed together enjoying their post-coital afterglow. And the young man is played by a woman. So its rather tongue-in-cheek on many levels.