Ariadne auf Naxos


  • The steward (voice)
  • The music teacher (baritone )
  • The composer (mezzo- soprano)
  • Prima Donna - Ariadne (soprano )
  • The tenor - Bacchus (Tenor)
  • The officer (Tenor)
  • The Dancing Master (tenor )
  • The wig maker (baritone )
  • Lackey ( bass)

People from the Commedia dell'arte

  • Zerbinetta (soprano )
  • Harlequin (baritone )
  • Scaramuccio (Tenor)
  • Truffaldin ( bass)
  • Brighella (Tenor)

The opera

  • Ariadne (soprano )
  • Bacchus (Tenor)
  • Naiad (soprano )
  • Dryad (Alt )
  • Echo (soprano )
  • Persons from the prologue: Zerbinetta, Harlequin, Scaramuccio, Truffaldin, Brighella

Ariadne auf Naxos (op. 60) is an opera " in one act, together with a Prelude " by Richard Strauss. The libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. In a " play within a play " the mythological fabric of the island Naxos abandoned, longing for death Ariadne is interwoven with contemporary issues of art: In order to be able to remain true to yourself, man and art itself must be able to convert.

Work history

The third joint work by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal was created immediately after the opera Der Rosenkavalier as " chamber opera" for a 36 -member ensemble. Originally intended for Max Reinhardt's Berlin theater, the first performance took place instead on October 25, 1912 held at the Little House of the Court Theatre in Stuttgart. This first version offered only the opera act " Ariadne " (without foreplay ) as a "deposit " for Hugo von Hofmannsthal's handling of Molière's comedy The Bourgeois Gentleman. The combination of drama and opera Ariadne was originally a failure, but is occasionally presented by Festival again in recent times (for example, 1997 or 2012 at the Edinburgh Festival at the Salzburg Festival ).

The revised version with foreplay was premiered on October 4, 1916 at the Court Opera in Vienna and quickly replayed in Berlin, Mannheim, Zurich, Budapest and Graz. The second version has established itself in the 1920s and 1930s in the repertoires of the major European opera houses - in 1924 in Amsterdam and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, 1925 in Turin, in 1926 in Stockholm and at the Salzburg Festival, 1930 in Brussels, 1931 in Helsinki, 1935 in Rome and Antwerp, finally, in 1937 at the Théâtre des Champs- Élysées in Paris.

The first performance in the United States took place at the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company on 1 November 1928. In New York, the opera until 1934 came in a student production of the Juilliard School on the stage. The New York City Opera, she took in the 1940s in their repertoire and showed it to 1946 - the first time in Canada - at the Montreal festival. At the Metropolitan Opera, the opera, however, did not come until 29 December 1962 for a prominent cast with Leonie Rysanek ( Ariadne ), Jess Thomas ( Bacchus ), Kerstin Meyer ( composer ) and Gianna D' Angelo ( Zerbinetta ); Conductor was Karl Böhm. This production saw 88 performances by 2010 Today the opera is firmly anchored in the repertoires of the international stages and especially in the German -speaking world -. Regularly performed - especially in Vienna and Salzburg.


Prelude - In the palace of a nouveau riche

In the house of a nouveau riche opera seria Ariadne, should be immediately given a coarse dance piece. The music teacher of the opera composer comes this to my attention, and he complains about the steward. This tells him that it is solely the responsibility of the landlord, what and in what order he wanted to see what is listed, because after all he pay " the spectacle." The participants of the pieces and the composer make a gradual, so also Zerbinetta and her four partners ( Harlequin, Brighella, Scaramuccio and Truffaldin ) intended dancing for the fun sequel to the opera. The composer of Zerbinetta, this " adorable girl " fascinated. Then the music teacher takes his pupil aside and told him what had come to his ears. The composer is indignant. Never shall a fun dance game to be listed after his work of art. As the steward appears with the latest command of his Lord. The opera seria and opera buffa to be given at the same time, the entire piece should also take only an hour, because after that ( at nine clock ) must necessarily start on time the fireworks for guests.

The music teacher is appalled, the dancing master confident. He makes the suggestion that we should cut from the opera seria some initially and should incorporate the dance scenes carefully there. The composer is initially outraged. Zerbinetta, it is understood, however, to convince him and explained the piece from their perspective:

The composer is torn, he exuberantly celebrates the power of music: Music is sacred art. After the performance to begin, Zerbinetta and her companions storm the stage, his mood changes again: Who told you to drag me into this world? Let me freeze, starve, to stone in mine!

Opera - Wild Landscape on Naxos

The three nymphs Naiad, Dryad and Echo regret Ariadne, abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos. Heartbroken she complains about the hopelessness of their lives. You just wait for the messenger of death. Zerbinetta and her companions try to cheer Ariadne with dancing and singing. However, this fails. After trying Zerbinetta in a private conversation, from woman to woman to give new courage to Ariadne ( with one of the most spectacular coloratura arias ): Great Mighty Princess. She tells Ariadne their philosophy of life - in particular their views about love and loyalty - with: gone Came the new God, gave I was dumb, but Ariadne can neither cheer nor convincing. Mute Ariadne warps into her cave. Then reappear Zerbinetta's companions. They skillfully flirts with them and then disappear with their chosen Harlequin.

The three nymphs notice the arrival of a stranger. It is the god Bacchus, who was able to escape the power of Circe, and reports on his victory over Circe. Ariadne awakens from her lifeless rigid and feels at the sight of Bacchus ' death messenger Hermes has finally arrived. Bacchus again, fascinated by the beauty of Ariadne, believes she is a sorceress Circe of the category. Both overcome their natural shyness and learn through the miracle of love an amazing transformation. Ariadne comes back to life, and the god Bacchus, who had also sworn off love, returns to a new love:

Earlier, Zerbinetta, repeatedly pointing Bacchus and Ariadne, with her ​​mocking triumph Rondo: Should the new god gone, surrendered we are dumb!

Recordings ( selection)