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This listing is in the past
OpernhausSechseläutenplatz 1, Zurich, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
Dates/times in Zurich time zone
Zurich Opera
Markus PoschnerConductor
Robert CarsenDirector
Gideon DaveySet Designer, Costume Designer
Peter van PraetLighting Designer
Philharmonia Zürich
Zurich Opera Chorus
Ian BurtonDramaturgy
Kathrin BrunnerDramaturgy
Hanna-Elisabeth MüllerSopranoArabella
Anett FritschSopranoZdenka
Josef WagnerBass-baritoneMandryka
Michael HauensteinBassCount Waldner
Judith SchmidMezzo-sopranoAdelaide
Nathan HallerTenorCount Elemer
Yannick DebusBass-baritoneCount Dominik
Brent Michael SmithBassCount Lamoral
Aleksandra Kubas-KrukSopranoThe Fiakermilli
Irène FriedliSopranoA fortune-teller
Pavol BreslikTenorMatteo
Ernst RaffelsbergerChoirmaster / chorus director

With Anja Harteros in the title role, this revival promises to be the most «Arabellissima» production possible. Harteros has thrilled audiences for years with her alluring stage presence and vocal prowess, and she’s fully at home in Richard Strauss’ music. She plays the role of Arabella, the darling of Viennese society, who has no qualms turning down suitors. She’s waiting for the «right man», one who will lead her off to a better life. And she finds him in the Croatian landowner Mandyrka. But she’ll soon realize that he’s got a darker side, too…
The realization that this «lyric comedy» could turn into a «tragedy» at any moment, as Strauss himself one remarked, is manifestly obvious. In this late work, the composer finds a new way to treat language, tonal refinement, and expressive power. Operetta-like in tone, and infused with elements reminiscent of the waltz, the opera is strangely broken. This ambivalence fits within the history of the work’s reception. It was premiered in Dresden in 1933, and instrumentalized for propaganda purposes by the Nazis. Director Robert Carsen doesn’t ignore those societal forces at work, setting the action at the height of the Third Reich.

At Anja Hartero’s side is an exquisite Strauss ensemble. German soprano Anett Fritsch debuts in Zurich as Zdenka, with tenor Pavol Breslik as Matteo. Austrian baritone Josef Wanger takes on the role of Mandryka, as he did in the premiere. And the score’s twists and turns are in the capable hands of conductor Markus Poschner.

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