Capriccio

Richard Strauss Capriccio opera to a libretto by Clemens Krauss and Richard Strauss. This is the Met John Cox production with 2011 stage direction by Peter McClintock. Stars Renée Fleming (The Countess); Joseph Kaiser (Flamand); Russell Braun (Olivier); Peter Rose (La Roche); Morten Frank Larsen (The Count); Sarah Connolly (Clairon); Olga Makarina and Barry Banks (Italian Singers); Ronald Naldi, Paul Corona, Steven Goldstein, Christopher Schaldenbrand, Grant Youngblood, Scott Scully, Brian Frutiger, Kyle Pfortmiller (Servants); Micahael Devlin (Majordomo); and Bernard Fitch (Monsieur Taupe). Solo dancers are Laura Feig and Eric Otto. Also stars stage musicians David Chan (violin), Rafael Figueroa (cello), and Dennis Giauque (harpsichord). Andrew Davis conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, with stage band conductor Jeffrey Goldberg. Set design by Mauro Pagano; costume design and interior décor by Robert Perdziola; lighting design by Duane Schuler; choreography by Val Caniparoli; dramaturgy by Paul Cremo; television direction by Gary Halvorson.  Released 2011, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A

You need to be a fairly experienced fan to well enjoy this ultimate insider's joke about the art and aims of opera. It wouldn't hurt to study the libretto in advance because there's a lot going on here in words and music but with only the thinnest plot. If you already know this clever, charming opera, I think you will consider this an A+ title. I'm just a novice opera buff; but with the sub-titles on, I got a lot of laughs out of this---far more than the Met audience seemed to have. Fleming is perfect in this, and the whole production is suffuced with that Met aura of graceful professionalism.

We need a opera expert (real or imposter) to write us a truly helpful mini-review of this rich and sophisticated quasi-comedy.