Opera superstar Renée Fleming stars alongside Bo Skovhus and Christoph Eschenbach in this delightful production of Richard Strauss’ Capriccio from the Wiener Staatsoper.
Capriccio is the final opera by German composer Richard Strauss, subtitled “A Conversation Piece for Music”. The opera received its premiere performance at the Nationaltheater München on 28 October 1942. Clemens Krauss and Strauss wrote the German libretto. However, the genesis of the libretto came from Stefan Zweig in the 1930s, and Joseph Gregor further developed the idea several years later. Strauss then took on the libretto, but finally recruited Krauss as his collaborator on the opera. Most of the final libretto is by Krauss. The opera originally consisted of a single act lasting close to two and a half hours. This, in combination with the work’s conversational tone and emphasis on text, has prevented the opera from achieving great popularity; however, at Hamburg in 1957, Rudolf Hartmann, who had directed the opera at its premiere in Munich, inserted an interval at the point when the Countess orders chocolate, and other directors have often followed suit. The final scene for Countess Madeleine can often be heard as an excerpt.