Karine Babajanyan (Ariadne), Elena Sancho Pereg (Zerbinetta), Cornel Frey (Brighella), Bruce Rankin (Scaramuccio), Dmitri Vargin (Harlekin), Bogdan Taloş-Sandor (Truffaldin) | © Hans Jörg Michel
Ariadne auf Naxos
Richard Strauss
Opernhaus Düsseldorf
Saturday, 09. May 2015
19:30 - 21:45 hours

Duration: approx. 2 ¼ hours, no interval
16,80 - 75,10 €
Duration: approx. 2 ¼ hours, no interval
Richard Strauss’s (1864–1949) chamber opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” was originally staged by Max Reinhardt on 25th October 1912 on the small stage of the Stuttgart Hoftheater as an interlude to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”, where it was a critical but not a popular success. The version which is better known today with the “Prologue” was first performed on 4th October 1916 at the Hofoper in Vienna. In this version “Ariadne auf Naxos” would find its way into the repertoires of all the major opera houses.

In the prologue Hofmannsthal and Strauss precisely portray the situation of the artist exposed to the market forces of their and our time: in order to satisfy the arbitrary taste of his rich sovereign, the composer is forced to insert improvised scenes from a Commedia dell’arte troupe into his opera ‘Ariadne’. Here art is only worth as much as he who subsidizes it is willing to pay – and he is only going to pay if he likes it.

As the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” is performed as a play within a play, there is a blurring of comedy and tragedy, myth and irony. Abandoned by Theseus, Ariadne longs for death while her “earthly counter-voice” (Hofmannsthal), the coquettish Zerbinetta, holds up promiscuous love as her ideal. Finally Ariadne gains a new lease of life through the arrival of Bacchus, whom she initially mistakes for the messenger of death Hermes. “When a new God comes along, we are silent in devotion,” Zerbinetta observes.

After directing the works of Mozart in Gelsenkirchen, Verdi’s operas in Essen and Bonn, Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Il trittico” at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and most recently Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” in Cologne and “Queen of Spades” in June 2014 in Gelsenkirchen, Dietrich W. Hilsdorf will engage with work by Richard Strauss for the first time. With his detailed portrayal of character, the space by Dieter Richter (“Phaedra”, “The Rake’s Progress” and “Lohengrin”) and the costumes of Renate Schmitzer, Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s opus is in the best of hands.
Richard Strauss

Opera in one act with a prologue
by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

In German with surtitles

Musikalische Leitung Axel Kober
Inszenierung Dietrich W. Hilsdorf
Bühne Dieter Richter
Kostüme Renate Schmitzer
Licht Volker Weinhart
Dramaturgie Bernhard F. Loges
Der Haushofmeister Peter Nikolaus Kante
Ein Musiklehrer Stefan Heidemann
Der Komponist Maria Kataeva
Ein Tanzmeister Johannes Preißinger
Ariadne Linda Watson
Bacchus Roberto Saccà
Najade Elisabeth Selle
Echo Lavinia Dames
Dryade Iryna Vakula
Zerbinetta Daniela Fally
Harlekin Dmitri Vargin
Brighella Cornel Frey
Scaramuccio Bruce Rankin
Truffaldin Lukasz Konieczny
Ein Offizier Hubert Walawski
Ein Perückenmacher Roman Hoza
Ein Lakai Dogus Güney
Orchester Düsseldorfer Symphoniker


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