Strauss’ ravishing last operatic work
This article is from 2007.
At the start of the Festival, opera-goers were spirited back to the genre’s origins with a spectacular production of the first great opera, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Now, as things draw to a close, the opera on offer is one which poses questions to itself really. What is more important in opera, asks Strauss’ last opera Capriccio, the words or the music?
Not often performed, it is full of ravishingly romantic music, which, particularly in the final scene, is among Strauss’ most beautiful. A glamorous young Parisian widow, the Countess Madeleine, cannot choose between two lovers. Should she go for the poet, or maybe the musician? Or perhaps a new opera, written by both of them together, could solve the conflict? As she says herself: ‘If you choose one, you lose the other.’ In choosing this new production, however, no one should lose out. (Carol Main)
Festival Theatre, 473 2000, 28 & 30 Aug, 1 Sep, 7.15pm, £10–£60.