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Work of the Week – Richard Strauss: Capriccio

Work of the Week – Richard Strauss: Capriccio

The discord between composer and poet during the conception of an opera happens to the best of us, with Richard Strauss no exception. Ironically, he addresses this balance of forces within an operatic work, namely Capriccio. On July 17th 2022, Munich’s Prinzregenten Theater will witness David Marton’s production premiere of Capriccio, performed by the Bayerische Staatsoper under the musical direction of Lothar Koenigs.


An opera within an opera – Richard Strauss’ Capriccio 

Composer Flamand and poet Olivier have two things in common: they consider their respective arts to possess operatic superiority and they have feelings for the same woman, the Countess Madeleine. Both major points of contention. Despite rehearsing for an opera performance in celebration of the Countess’ upcoming birthday, inevitably, they can do nothing but argue. In the end, the Countess is forced to decide which of the arts is superior and therefore which of the contenders deserves priority. Strauss' musical conception of Capriccio is in essence an opera about the opera. In numerous styles it copies, quotes and alludes, sometimes parodically, to his own works and those of other composers.


A network is created in which everyone constantly has the feeling of hearing something that they already know […]. Dörte Schmidt


Written just eight years before his death, Capriccio was Strauss’ final opera and a “testament” to his musical career. Don’t miss the Bayerische Staatsoper in the Prinzregenten Theater, on July 20th, 23rd and 25th 2022.


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photo: Rehearsal Bayrische Staatsoper , 2022