Renée Fleming dazzled audiences when she sang Capriccio's final scene on Opening Night of the 2008-09 season. Now she sings Strauss's entire diva showcase, with Andrew Davis conducting.
A chateau near Paris, the 1920s. It is the birthday of the young, widowed Countess Madeleine. The composer Flamand and the poet Olivier are listening to the rehearsal of Flamand's string sextet, written for the occasion, while the theater director La Roche is dozing. Flamand and Olivier realize that they are both in love with the countess. What will impress her more--Flamand's music or Olivier's poetry? La Roche wakes and joins the argument. Neither poetry nor music, he says, is the greatest of the arts. His own, the art of theatrical production, encompasses and overshadows them both. He believes in entertainment--splendid decor, top notes, and beautiful women, such as the famous actress Clairon, who recently had an affair with Olivier. La Roche is to direct the poet's new play, with Clairon and the countess's brother, a talented amateur actor, in the leading roles. Who will the Countess ultimately choose?