“Be advised, it is a production worth crossing continents, even oceans to see.”
– Opera Today
A rich man hires an opera group and a troupe of actors to entertain his guests. At the last minute he notices there’s not enough time for both performances. They must take place simultaneously, melding together theatre and opera. The merriment of traditional commedia dell’arte characters invades the story of Ariadne, who’s awaiting death.
The critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos will see its premiere in January 2020. The intriguing performance brings Ariadne’s world to the modern day with cinematic realism.
Recommended for children over the age of 12.
Richard Strauss, whose Der Rosenkavalier had made him the leading opera composer of his time, wanted to try something completely different. He composed music for the play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and created an opera, Ariadne, to be performed in the middle of it. Everyone had liked Der Rosenkavalier, but no one liked this.
The richly flowing music was so beautiful, however, that Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal decided to use it again. They built a whole new opera around Ariadne, and this time it was a success. Ever since its world premiere in 1916, Ariadne auf Naxos has been one of Strauss’s most popular operas.
Ariadne auf Naxos will be performed as an international co-production of six opera companies, which was premiered at the 2018 Festival D’Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. Its director, Katie Mitchell, is one of today’s most celebrated theatre and opera directors. The precise direction of the production has been received with wild excitement by opera lovers across the world.
The richest man in Vienna has invited an opera group and a troupe of commedia dell’arte actors, led by Zerbinetta, to perform at his party. The two troupes quarrel about who should perform first, but the major-domo announces that the performances must be simultaneous in order to end before the fireworks. The composer initially refuses to make any changes to his opera, but the music master reminds him that he won’t get his reward unless the opera is performed. He agrees to abridge the opera, but the singers are adamant that only others’ arias must be cut. As the dance master gives Zerbinetta a role in the opera plot, the desperate composer realises what he has agreed to.
The opera performance begins. Ariadne, who’s been abandoned by Theseus, is on the island of Naxos with the nymphs Nayad, Dryad and Echo. Ariadne bemoans her fate and longs for death. Zerbinetta’s troupe tries to lift her spirits by singing and dancing, but it’s all in vain. In a long and glorious aria, Zerbinetta advocates forgetting the past and finding a new lover. Ariadne chooses the Harlequin from the troupe and they sing a duet about love. The nymphs announce someone’s arrival. It’s Bacchus, who Ariadne mistakes for the harbinger of death. Bacchus falls in love with Ariadne. Ariadne wants to follow him, and the opera ends with a duet by Ariadne and Bacchus.
A full synopsis and background information are available in the programme booklet.
A Festival D’Aix-en-Provence production
A co-production with Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Royal Danish Opera, and Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Image credit: Pascal Victor/ArtcomPress
You can buy individual tickets and/or refreshments for season 2019–2020 performances in our online store at a 10% discount until 15 June. This discount only applies to normal priced tickets (not the H price category) to Main Stage performances. The discount is not given for tickets to visiting productions and alcoholic drinks and it’s exclusive to our online store.
24, 29 and 31 January and 4, 6 and 8 February are season ticket performances. Individual tickets will go on sale on 5 August 2019.
If you visit us several times a year and would like to ensure yourself a seat at future premieres, a season ticket is the perfect choice for you. As a season ticket holder, you'll be entitled to special discounts, wonderful benefits and a designated seat in the auditorium.
Choose your favourite refreshments from this season’s tasty menu. You can easily add refreshments to your shopping basket while selecting tickets in our online store.
The services of the Opera Restaurant are available before performances and during the interval. Order beforehand and avoid the queues.
Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific table for orders made via the online store. We may also seat several parties at the same table. You may be assigned a bar height table for enjoying refreshments standing up.