Hugo von Hofmannsthal called “Ariadne auf Naxos”, which he created in close collaboration with Richard Strauss, one of the “most delicate of structures”. Indeed, in its complexity, the work truly does represent something utterly unique. Being and seeming, stage world and reality, comedy and tragedy, the heartbroken, unhappy Ariadne and the merrily partner-switching Zerbinetta – all of these contrasting pairs are clearly played off against one another in this “opera with prologue”. Emily Magee and Roberto Saccà are radiant in their role debuts as Ariadne and Bacchus, just as Elena Mosuc’s Zerbinetta is incomparably dazzling and Michelle Breedt’s Composer profoundly touching. Christoph von Dohnányi, one of the great Strauss interpreters of our time, probes the depths of the incredibly finely-spun score with an elegant feel for sound, and ensures a perfect balance between operetta-like lightness and a tragic operatic tone.

Claus Guth and Christian Schmidt of the production team underline the dichotomy between music and word through a well-planned, surprisingly new reading. The prologue takes place in the house of the “richest man in Vienna”, who has commissioned an opera troupe and a commedia dell’arte ensemble to entertain his guests. Owing to a lack of time, the Major-Domo, played by the Intendant of the Zürcher Oper Alexander Pereira, demands that the very different artists give their performances simultaneously. In Claus Guth’s interpretation, this prologue is related in abstract theatrical metaphors. The production transposes the fictitious venue of the “deserted island”, as is called for in the second part by the “opera in the opera”, to a very real venue: the venerable Zurich restaurant “Kronenhalle”. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments: “One can totally understand this interpretation, and one does it all the more delightedly as it is carried out on a very high level of quality”.


  • Production Year:


  • Category:
  • Genres:
  • Age rating:


  • Audio Language:


  • Subtitle Language:


  • Location:
  • Country:





Associated Collections

Promotion image Promotion image

Richard Strauss

Promotion image Promotion image

Operas for the whole family

Promotion image Promotion image

Opernhaus Zürich