Magazine article Opera Canada

Ariadne Auf Naxos

Magazine article Opera Canada

Ariadne Auf Naxos

Article excerpt

Richard Strauss

TDK: DVWW-OPAAN

Compared to the Arabella reviewed above, this Zurich Opera production of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos is a succes four. But be warned, this is a concept production; the basic premise is that the Prima Donna is in love with the Composer who, distraught by the turn of events surrounding the premiere of his opear, has committed suicide. "I am not of this world," he sings, brandishing a revolver, "why live in it?" The entire Prologue, played on an empty stage in front of a white curtain. serves as a flashback to the Opera proper, and actually strengthens the ties between the two parts.

As the curtain goes up on the Opera, we find oursleves in a large restaurant or dining hall. Nyade, Dryade and Echo are waitresses commenting on Ariadne, who sits alone drinking and reliving in her mind the events that led to the Composer's death. In her delirium, a vision of his bloodied body appears. The four harlequin characters are used in a variety of ways, first appearing as waiters, then white-jacketed drunks acompanying Zerbinetta and finally as long-haired playboys out on the town. …

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