Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne Auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos

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Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

First version (1912)

The opera was originally conceived as a thirty-minute divertissement to be performed at the end of Hofmannsthal's adaptation of Molière's play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Besides the opera, Strauss provided incidental music to be performed during the play. In the end, the opera occupied ninety minutes, and the performance of play plus opera occupied over six hours. It was first performed at the Hoftheater, Stuttgart, on 25 October 1912. The director was Max Reinhardt. The combination of the play and opera proved to be unsatisfactory to the audience: those who had come to hear the opera resented having to wait until the play finished.

The first version was produced in Zurich beginning on 5 December 1912 and Prague on 7 December 1912. The Munich premiere followed on 30 January 1913 in the old Residenztheater, a venue which was inferior for the presentation of opera, both acoustically and due to lack of space for the musicians. Hofmannsthal overruled the conductor Bruno Walter's preference for the Hofoper on the grounds that the smaller theatre was more suitable for a work of this kind. The cast included the American Maude Fay as Ariadne, Otto Wolf as Bacchus, and Hermine Bosetti as Zerbinetta. Strauss, being a native son, had a close association with Munich and was...
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