Even in the most loved operas one does not love everything. In Rosenkavalier why is it that Sophie knows all about Octavian but nothing about the man she is to marry? Why is she shocked to see that the baron is a mature man from the country? With Sophie one sympathizes, but one does not love her.
But one loves the Marschallin more with each passing year. "How can it truly be that I was tiny Reselie, and someday I will be an old woman? While I inside am always the same?" Indeed. One loves her for asking while she is still young and beautiful.
It will remain a mystery how she knows about Octavian's plan. When he provokes a fight with the baron, she is probably told all about it. Perhaps she slips some coins to the Italians when no one is looking. Octavian creates the scandal that makes Faninal reject the baron as a son in law, but it is the Marschallin who smooths the ruffled feathers and restores serenity to all. "Half the time happy, half the time sad." She is a woman to adore, one of the great creations of art.