Richard Strauss 150
Radio 3's celebrations of the 150th anniversary of his birth, Renée Fleming sings the role of the Countess Madeleine in a concert performance of Strauss's last opera conducted by Andrew Davis, recorded at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Presented by Louise Fryer with contributions from the cast and conductor. There'll also be a Radio 3 Opera Guide on the piece which listeners can download.
Capriccio dramatises the perennial question: which is more important in opera - words or music? The composer Flamand and the poet Olivier both compete for the affection of the Countess, while the seasoned director La Roche brings a sense of reality and pragmatism to the proceedings. Strauss lavished a wealth of operatic experience on this late bloom of his indian summer, ending with a celebrated solo scene for the Countess which crowns a life-long love affair with the soprano voice.
The Countess....Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Clairon....Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Mezzo-soprano)
Flamand....Andrew Staples (Tenor)
Olivier....Christian Gerhaher (Baritone)
The Count....Boje Skovhus (Baritone)
La Roche....Peter Rose (Bass)
Italian Singer....Mary Plazas (Soprano)
Italian Singer....Barry Banks (Tenor)
Royal Opera House Orchestra
Andrew Davis (Conductor)
First broadcast in January 2014.