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CapriccioNew production

OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Schweiz
Datum/Zeit in Zurich Zeitzone
Montag 24 Mai 202119:00
Donnerstag 27 Mai 202119:00
Sonntag 30 Mai 202119:30
Donnerstag 03 Juni 202119:30
Sonntag 06 Juni 202120:00
Donnerstag 10 Juni 202120:00
Sonntag 13 Juni 202114:00
Oper Zürich
Markus PoschnerDirigent
Christof LoyRegisseur
Raimund Orfeo VoigtBühnenbild
Klaus BrunsKostüme
Julia KleiterSopranGräfin
Paula MurrihyMezzosopranClairon
Ben BlissTenorFlamand
John ChestBaritonOlivier
Christof FischesserBassLa Roche
Markus EicheBaritonGraf
John Graham-HallTenorMonsieur Taupe
Sandra HamaouiSopranItalian singer
Santiago BalleriniTenorItalian singer
Brent Michael SmithBassHaushofmeister
Pablo García-LópezTenorServant
Sebastià PerisBaritonServant
Emmanuel FaraldoTenorServant
David SánchezBassServant
Franck EvinLicht
Andreas HeiseChoreographie
Kathrin BrunnerDramaturgie
Elizabeth McGorianTänzerThe Countess / Dancer
Philharmonia Zürich

Is the text more important? Or is it rather the music that dominates? The question of the value relationship between sound and word in opera is as old as the genre itself – and at the heart of Richard Strauss’ conversation piece Capriccio. It is his last opera, written when he was nearly 80. Capriccio, however, is anything but dry discourse about the dominance of language or music in opera. Rather, it is an ambiguous game that virtuously links the characters’ discussions of art with their erotic entanglements. In a salon near Paris, a theater director, a poet, a composer, and actress, and the count who loves her passionately discuss the nature of various artistic genres. The count suggests performing an opera about the very topic of their discussion, about themselves, about «the events of the day today, what we experienced». In the middle of it all, though, is the widow Countess Madeleine, the count’s sister. Her love is the object of desire, the prize at the center of the artistic competition between the poet Olivier and the composer Flamand. But as much as she feels herself attracted to them both, the Countess leaves her choice unmade – just as with the finale of the work to be performed in Capriccio. In the Countess, Strauss once again created a grand, complex female figure. With her mysterious, enigmatic aura and her ironic, melancholy, insightful poise, she is a woman that hews closely to her predecessors Arabella and the Marschallin in Rosenkavalier.

«In your salon, Countess, the hours go by without aging!» the actress Clarion remarks. With director Christof Loy, the figures in Capriccio are if as caught in a time warp; his production follows the Countess’ self-reflection down all its paths of intricacy, becoming a dizzying play on the play within a play. Capriccio is a «Leckerbissen für kulturelle Feinschmecker», or a «delight for cultural gourmets», according to Strauss, and much the same can be said of our vocal cast. Julia Kleiter makes her debut as the Countess, and at her side, among others, are Christof Fischesser, Markus Eiche, and Paula Murrihy. Markus Poschner returns to conduct this, his second new production at the Opernhaus, following Hänsel und Gretel.

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