Ariadne auf Naxos
The 2013 Festival opens with a new production of this compelling and intricately crafted collaboration between composer Richard Strauss and writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal. After the enormous success of Der Rosenkavalier, the two men conceived the idea of a light entertainment, a small trifle to amuse and divert the public.
It soon became altogether more complex, subtle and ambitious, ‘something unusual and important’ as von Hofmannsthal put it, with ‘music as enchanting in the memory as anything could be; like fireworks in a beautiful park, one enchanted, all too fleeting, summer night’.
The kernel of the story is a clash between two different types of dramatic performance, as represented by a troupe of comic artists led by the irrepressible Zerbinetta, and the high seriousness of the classical myth of Ariadne; roles sung by Laura Claycomb and Soile Isokoski, both making their Glyndebourne debuts.
In Vladimir Jurowski’s final season as Music Director he will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in his first fully-staged Strauss opera, working with the German director Katharina Thoma, making her UK debut.
Listen to our Ariadne auf Naxos podcast
Musical extracts used with kind permission of EMI Classics.
Live broadcast to cinemas and online on 4 June 2013, venues and booking details are on the 'In Cinemas' tab.
A new production for the 2013 Festival
Sung in German with English supertitles
This new production is supported by a Syndicate of Donors led by Hamish and Sophie Forsyth
By kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd
Part one - The Prologue
Part two - The Opera
The filming of Glyndebourne’s Ariadne auf Naxos is made possible by support from our New Generation Programme donors
At a sumptuous home, two theatre troupes are preparing for their performances: a commedia dell’arte group, led by the comedienne Zerbinetta, and an opera company presenting a serious opera, Ariadne auf Naxos. The Major-domo announces that, to save time, both entertainments must be performed simultaneously.
The idealistic young Composer is loath to permit any changes to his opera. But when his teacher, the Music Master, points out that his pay depends on accepting the situation, and when Zerbinetta turns her charms upon him, he complies. When he fully realises to what he has agreed, he storms out.
Ariadne, who has been abandoned by Theseus, laments her lost love and yearns for death. Zerbinetta and her four companions from the commedia dell’arte troupe attempt to cheer Ariadne by singing and dancing, but without success. Zerbinetta insists that the best way to cure a broken heart is to find another love. Each of the four commedia men pursues Zerbinetta.
Naiad, Dryad and Echo announce the arrival of a stranger. Ariadne assumes it is the messenger of death, but in fact it is Bacchus, who falls instantly in love with Ariadne. As Ariadne and Bacchus celebrate their love, Zerbinetta claims that she was right all along.
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski
Director Katharina Thoma
Set Designer Julia Müer
Costume Designer Irina Bartels
Lighting Designer Olaf Winter
Movement Director Lucy Burge
Music Master Thomas Allen
Ariadne Soile Isokoski
Composer Kate Lindsey
Zerbinetta Laura Claycomb
Ulyana Aleksyuk (28 June; 5, 11 July)
Harlequin Dmitri Vargin
Scaramuccio James Kryshak
Truffaldino Torben Jürgens
Brighella Andrew Stenson
Bacchus Sergey Skorokhodov
Dancing Master Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Guy de Mey (13, 20, 23 June)
Naiad Ana Maria Labin
Dryad Adriana Di Paola
Echo Gabriela Iştoc
The Major-Domo William Relton
Lackey Frederick Long
Wigmaker Michael Wallace
Officer Stuart Jackson
"In 40 years of watching Ariadne, the opera has never moved me more."
Rated 4* by Daily Mail.
"...the production captures the fragility of happiness and the undertow of melancholy better than any I can remember.”
Rated 4* by London Evening Standard.
"...always pleasing and sometimes ravishing to behold.”
Rated 4* by Musical Criticism.
Rated 4* by MusicOMH.
Read an interview with director, Katharina Thoma, on the Guardian website.