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Ariadne auf Naxos

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Gran Teatre del Liceu: AuditorioumBarcelona, Catalonia, 08002, Spain
Dates/times in Madrid time zone
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Josep PonsConductor
Katie MitchellDirector
Chloe LamfordSet Designer
Sarah BlenkinsopCostume Designer
James FarncombeLighting Designer
Miina-Liisa VäreläSopranoPrimadonna (Ariadne)Sep 22, 26, 28, Oct 03
Johanni van OostrumSopranoPrimadonna (Ariadne)Sep 27, 29, Oct 02, 04
Elena Sancho PeregSopranoZerbinettaSep 22, 26, 28, Oct 03
Sara BlanchSopranoZerbinettaSep 27, 29, Oct 02, 04
Samantha HankeyMezzo-sopranoComposerSep 22, 26, 28, Oct 03
Paula MurrihyMezzo-sopranoComposerSep 27, 29, Oct 02, 04
Nikolai SchukoffTenorBacchus (The Tenor)Sep 22, 26, 28, Oct 03
David PomeroyTenorBacchus (The Tenor)Sep 27, 29, Oct 02, 04
Sonia de MunckSopranoNaiad
Anaïs MasllorensMezzo-sopranoDryad
Roger PadullésTenorDancing Master
Josep FadóTenorOfficer
Benjamin ApplBaritoneHarlequin
José Antonio LópezBaritoneMusic Master
Jorge Rodríguez-NortonTenorWigmaker
Maik SolbachSpoken wordThe Major-Domo
Núria VilàSopranoEcho
Juan Noval-MoroTenorBrighella
Vicenç Esteve MadridTenorScaramuccio
David LagaresBassLackey
Alex RosenBassTruffaldino
Orquesta Sinfónica del Gran Teatre del Liceu

Production: Gran Teatre del Liceu, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Finnish National Opera and Ballet and Royal Danish Oper

Many key works in the repertory arose from intensive teamwork between librettist and composer. Such tandems include Mozart-Da Ponte, Verdi-Boito, and Strauss-Von Hofmannsthal. Ariadne auf Naxos was the third of six operas written by the last-named duo, coming after Elektra and Der Rosenkavalier.

The day after the 1911 premiere of Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss and his poet-librettist decided to renew their partnership by adapting Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. The original project was extensively revised before the definitive version of Ariadne auf Naxos was premiered in 1916. It was an instant success. Apart from its Mozartian hues, it presents numerous interplaying features: neoclassicism and Italian masked dances, echoes of Wagner's most fiery moments, a lullaby Schubert might have written, and an uninhibited, flexible and expressive idiom that heightens the drama.

The distinguished director Katie Mitchell brings us her own take on Ariadne auf Naxos, a tale about the wealthiest man in Vienna who commissions a young composer to write a serious opera and then invites a troupe from the commedia dell’arte to come along as well. When both are instructed to perform together, the flirtatious Zerbinetta sets about convincing the tragic Ariadne that men are all the same, and indeed interchangeable. By thus juxtaposing fidelity and metamorphosis, the opera honours both Molière and Mozart with a result that is as impertinent as it is irresistible. Life leaves us no choice but to forget and move on.

Pirandello's “theatre within a theatre” is an integral part of Ariadne. The disappointments of love and life are concealed beneath a veneer of humour and a multiplicity of feelings come into play. Eventually the two worlds collide, giving way to resignation: paradise, after all, is unattainable.

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