Ariadne auf Naxos

Classical music

My events

Add your favourite events to My events section to have them always at your fingertips.

Theatre within theatre, an opera about staging an opera depicting life offstage – it may not always be beautiful, but we all love to peek behind the scenes... Kraków Opera presents Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.

Backstage Art

Theatre within theatre, an opera about staging an opera depicting life offstage – it may not always be beautiful, but we all love to peek behind the scenes... Kraków Opera presents Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.


So, it all starts like this: the richest man in Vienna throws a lavish party. Two performances are prepared for the guests: first up is opera seria with a grand prima donna role performing the desperate Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, and then the stage is taken over by a troupe of comedians led by the saucy Zerbinetta. The evening is to culminate with a fireworks display. Suddenly, the Major-Domo brings news from the host: the fireworks display must start on time, so both the spectacles must be performed at the same time. The composer is stunned; the prima donna can hardly conceal her fury. Still, the curtain goes up and the show must go on, albeit following a revised schedule. Zerbinetta enters Ariadne’s story determined to prevent a tragic ending…

Ariadne auf Naxos, with a libretto by Hugo von Hoffmanstahl, first performed (as two acts) in 1916, is a tale of a clash between high art and popular comedy, exclusive culture fighting against mass entertainment. Using difficult themes and a complex storyline, Strauss created an effective performance filled with colourful surprises: alongside references to the Minotaur myth, there is a Venetian carnival, the Harlequinade, and bacchanalia in the finale. The light, almost capricious music doesn’t shy away from coloratura acrobatics (Zerbinetta’s aria Grossmächtige Prinzessin lasts over ten minutes, and reaches the sky-high top E!), and deftly stresses the differences between the tragic and comic elements intertwining on stage. The leading theme bestows Strauss’ opera with a universal appeal, and grants it a certain freedom of production: the lavish Viennese celebration can be transposed to the present day and any city around the world, and the reflections on the role and function of art in society will remain current.

The complex storyline combining several threads and schemes makes Ariadne auf Naxos one of the most difficult operatic productions in history. Additionally, this will be the first time any opera by Richard Strauss will be performed at the Kraków Opera. The challenge is being taken up by Włodzimierz Nurkowski (direction) and Tomasz Tokarczyk and Warcisław Kunc (musical direction). We can see the results of their cooperation on the stage of Kraków Opera! (Barbara Skowrońska)

share

more

  • PLN 25-100
Close We use cookies to facilitate the use of our services. If you do not want cookies to be saved on your hard drive, change the settings of your browser.