Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Capriccio in Concert. It was last on stage 19–21 July 2013 as part of the Summer 2012/13 season.
When a group of artists assemble to perform an opera for the Countess Madeleine tensions start to emerge. What will win the Countess’s heart – words or music?
The theme of Richard Strauss’s last 1942 opera, Capriccio, is the relationship between words and music. This makes it an ideal concert piece, with attention focused on its libretto and glittering score. Musical highlights include the opening instrumental sextet, which sees Strauss at his most lyrical; the witty and quarrelling ensembles; and the Countess’s closing monologue. This finale is a stream of intense melody tinged with melancholy that leaves audiences spellbound.
News and features
20 July 2013
A selection of audience tweets about the concert staging of Richard Strauss's final opera.
11 June 2013
The Countess's finale sees her choose between two prospective lovers and showcases Richard Strauss's love of the soprano voice.
27 February 2013
Helpful links and information on booking for forthcoming performances.
Capriccio, Op. 85, 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, including performances at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The final scene for Countess Madeleine can often be heard as an excerpt. Capriccio received its American professional premiere at The Santa Fe Opera in 1958 after the Juilliard School staged it in 1954 with Gloria Davy and Thomas Stewart as the aristocratic siblings.