Ok, so it’s more than 140 characters, but it is in one sentence. A masterly Rosenkavalier “operaplot” from the inimitable and ageless Nicolas Slonimsky:
26 January 1911
Der Rosenkavalier, “Komodie für Musik” in three acts by Richard Strauss…full of sophisticated waltzes and ironically sentimental arias, to Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s tale placed in 18th-century Vienna, in which a conniving dowager designates her young lover as the bearer of a symbolic silver rose sent from her aging cousin to a young coquette in proposing marriage, with a characteristic reversal of roles as the cavalier of the rose woos and wins her after many a transvestiture (in the third act the Rosenkavalier, a mezzo-soprano, is disguised as a maid thus reverting to her natural sex), the score containing 118 identifiable leitmotivs, according to officious exegetes, is produced at the Dresden Opera, Ernst Schuch conducting.
Love those “officious exegetes”.
And another priceless gem for an opera rather less well known:
17 February 1900
Anton, opera in three acts by the 27-year-old Italian composer Cesare Galeotti, wherein a young Libyan, whose pagan mistress slays his early Christian concubine known as the “Flower of the Catacombs”, flees to the Egyptian desert, suppresses his sensuous memories, resists a series of diabolically contrived temptations and becomes sanctified as Saint Anthony, to a musical score gushing out crimson floods of curvilinear melos, is produced at La Scala, Milan. [italics mine]
Source: Nicolas Slonimsky – The First Hundred Years (1994)