Dusty Capriccio

The 1993 San Francisco Opera production of Strauss’ Capriccio is about as literal a take on the work as one could imagine.  Stephen Lawless’ production sticks to the stage directions as laid down with an almost fetishistic fidelity.  This is backed up by highly decorated costumes and sets firmly placed in a slightly over elaborated 1775.  The traditionalists dream?  I suppose so if one thinks that Strauss and Krauss meant the work to be taken literally.  I don’t.  This is an opera about an opera about opera.  It begs to be deconstructed and the time and circumstances of its composition tend to reinforce the idea that all is not as it seems.  To take it at face value is actually a bit absurd but that’s what happens here and the result is rather dull and unsatisfying. Continue reading