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The German classical composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) penned his final opera, the 1942 Capriccio, as a one-act "conversation piece," set to music - a reference to the work's heavy reliance on long monologues. The narrative, which unfolds in a salon on the outskirts of the City of Lights, follows The Countess as she weighs the value of words (represented by her suitor Oliver, the poet) against the value of melody (represented by her suitor Flamand, the composer). As Oliver and Flamand prepare for The Countess's birthday celebrations, their discussion concerns literature… More