Richard Strauss wrote this comic opera, and actor Maximillian Schell (who is Angelina Jolie's godfather) directed it. Schell won an Oscar for Judgment at Nuremberg and also starred in Man in The Glass Booth. All that show biz background is applicable here because this production is nothing if not visual, AND excellently acted, as well as being nicely sung. Chorus costumes ranged from a nine foot tall version of Abel Gance's Napoleon, two guys from Matrix, and the set design by Gottfried Helnwein was equally visual and challenging and very good. Schell, Helnwein, and Kurt Rydl (who sang Baron Ochs) and the opera itself all are from Vienna, which is just interesting and probably helped make this the deep spectacle it turned out to be. It was my first visit to the Los Angeles Opera, and contrary to friends opinions the LA Opera performs in The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion not in the new Disney Hall which was built only for symphonic performances not fully staged productions.