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After an 8 year absence of Richard Strauss, the new production of Capriccio is also the premiere at the Teatro Real of the Bavarian composer’s last opera. The staging is by celebrated Christof Loy and the musical direction is by an expert in Strauss, Asher Fisch. Capriccio is Strauss’s answer to the question which has pursued opera as an art form since its very beginnings: Which is of more importance? Music or text? Coming from a composer of such harrowing tragedies as Salomé or Elektra it is astonishing to discover an exquisite comedy which synthesizes his musical language in an exercise of brilliant harmonies and textures.

The Teatro Real wshes to thank the Board of Friends for their sponsorship of Capriccio.


Konversationsstück für Musik in one act

Music by Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Libretto by Richard Strauss and Clemens Krauss, after the original idea by Stefan Zweig
Premiered at the Munich Staatsoper on 28 October 1942
Premiere at the Teatro Real
New production by the Teatro Real, in co-production with the Opernhaus Zürich

Principal Orchestra of the Teatro Real

(Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid)

Starting Point

The historic debate regarding the relative importance that words should have in opera with respect to the music constituted a source of fascination for Richard Strauss throughout his life. In Capriccio, he delves deeper in this topic, using an exceptional libretto, fruit of a suggestion from his dear Stefan Zweig, who found a brief comedy in the British Library which served as inspiration for that which would be the last opera of the German composer; a comedy, which incidentally had already served as inspiration for Antonio Salieri. From this point a plot arose, full of irony, featuring a Countess –symbol of art- whose affection were found to be divided between two suitors, a poet and a composer. Who should she chose? Decidedly Strauss placed special importance on the inteligibility of the text that was sung, while not scrimping on the musical resources, unfolding a palette of incomparable harmonies and textures. Capriccio is without a doubt an overwhelming synthesis of all that the musician had been able to improve over his career, something of which he himself was conscious: proud of his work, he rejected the suggestion from his librettist to initiate a new project. Quite simply he could not see how he could do any better.

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Asher Fisch
  • Stage director: Christof Loy
  • Set designer: Raimund Orfeo Voigt
  • Costume designer: Klaus Bruns
  • Dramaturg: Thomas Jonigk
  • Lighting designer: Frank Evin
  • Choreographer: Andreas Heise
· - ·
  • Countess Madeleine: Malin Byström
  • The Count: Josef Wagner
  • Flamand: Norman Reinhardt
  • Olivier: Andrè Schuen
  • La Roche: Christof Fischesser
  • Clairon: Theresa Kronthaler
  • Monsieur Taupe: John Graham-Hall
  • Two Italian singers: Leonor Bonilla
    Juan José de León
  • The Major-Domo: Torben Jürgens
  • Servants: Tomeu Bibiloni
    Pablo García López
    Sebastià Peris
    Gerardo López
    David Oller
    Emanuel Faraldo
    Manuel Gómez Ruiz
    David Sánchez

Performance Dates

  • 27 MAY (M) 20:00h
    Turn Première
  • 29 MAY (W) 20:00h
    Turn Z
  • 31 MAY (F) 20:00h
    Turn F
  • 2 JUN (S) 18:00h
    Turn C
  • 4 JUN (T) 20:00h
    Turn A
  • 6 JUN (T) 20:00h
    Turn B
  • 9 JUN (S) 18:00h
    Turn V
  • 11 JUN (T) 20:00h
    Turn H
  • 14 JUN (F) 20:00h
    Turn D
  • Place: Main Auditorium