Capriccio at La Monnaie…

logolamonnaiecapriccio

An opera by Richard Strauss

03.11.2016 – 16.11.2016

OPERA AND LOVE: SAME RULES APPLY

‘An opera is an absurd thing. Orders are given in song; politics is discussed in a duet. One danses around a grave, and dagger thrusts are dealt out in music.’ In Capriccio, his last opera, Richard Strauss reflects on the opera genre, and more especially on the question of which actually takes priority – the music or the words. This dilemma is depicted metaphorically in this ‘Konversationsstück für Musik’: an 18th-century countess is faced with the heart-rending choice between the love of a composer and that of a poet. Strauss’s musical voice is here full of dramatic power, humour, and sentiment and reaches a peak of refinement, sometimes flirting with chamber music. In his debut at La Monnaie, the Hungarian director David Marton creates a dream-world in which theatre itself appears on stage, and the conductor Lothar Koenigs spurs our orchestra to heights of subtlety. ‘If you choose one, you lose the other! Doesn’t one always lose, when one wins?’

ARTISTIC TEAM

Conductor LOTHAR KOENIGS
Director DAVID MARTON
Set design & costumes CHRISTIAN FRIEDLÄNDER 
Costumes POLA KARDUM
Lighting HENNING STRECK
Dramaturgy BARBARA ENGELHARDT

CAST

The Countess SALLY MATTHEWS
Mr. Graf, her brother DIETRICH HENSCHEL
Flamand, a composer EDGARAS MONTVIDAS
Olivier, a poet  LAURI VASAR
La Roche, the Theater Director KRISTINN SIGMUNDSSON
The Actress Bugler CHARLOTTE HELLEKANT
Monsieur Taupe FRANÇOIS PIOLINO
An Italian Singer ELENA GALITSKAYA
An Italian Tenor DMITRY IVANCHEY
The Butler CHRISTIAN OLDENBURG

Servants: ZENO POPESCU, NABIL SULIMAN, VINCENT LESAGE, BERTRAND DUBY, KRIS BELLIGH, PIERRE DERHET*, MAXIME MELNIK*, ARTUR ROZEK**

La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra
*Members of La Monnaie Chorus Academy
**Members of the International Opera Academy

PRODUCTION La Monnaie / De Munt
CO-PRODUCTION Opéra national de Lyon 2014

GALLERY

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SYNOPSIS

This lighthearted opera within an opera attempts to answer the age old question, “What is more important – music or poetry?” The Countess Madeleine is forced to determine this answer as she chooses between two suitors: Flamand, a composer, and Olivier, a poet. The opera opens at the Countess’s birthday party. Her guests include a poet, composer, actress, dancer and director, who banter on the respective merits of the arts. The slightly aggressive arguments among the men culminate with the Count declaring that “Opera is an absurd thing.” As the two suitors attempt to woo the Countess with poems and song, the guests decide that as a gift for the Countess, La Roche must direct an opera about the events of the day. Flamand will set a text by Olivier to music, and the ending will be decided by the Countess.

The opera ends dramatically when she is forced to choose between her suitors, who are waiting in the library in the morning to learn the ending of the opera within the opera. Still undecided as to both the ending of the opera and her choice of lover she asks, “Is there any ending that isn’t trivial?”

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