Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Trouser roles are roles in opera in which women portray young men. These roles present a special problem for the singer-actor - the problem of performing a character through transvestism.

This thesis is a study of two popular trouser roles for mezzo-soprano. It addresses the general history of trouser roles and the specific characters of "Cherubino" from W. A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and "Octavian" from R. Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. The study analysis of these two roles incorporates the history of the characters as reflected through the development of librettos in which they appear, a character study focusing on acting and technical problems for the performer, and musical analysis relevant to the understanding of these two trouser roles.