The plot to this masterpiece jointly crafted by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal condenses two operas, along with their preparations, into one, and in this sense it is remarkably stylistically appropriate that this broadcast of Ariadne auf Naxos promises enough big names even for several productions. Conducting the performance will be Marek Janowski, who is particularly respected as an expert on Strauss at the Met, with Lise Davidsen as Ariadne, Isabel Leonard as the Composer, and a genuine opera legend in the person of Sir Thomas Allen in the spoken role of the Major-Domo.
"If we collaborate again on something [...], the title would be Ariadne auf Naxos, a mixture of heroic mythological figures in 18th-century dress, in crinoline and with ostrich feathers, interwoven with the figures of the commedia dell'arte, [...], who represent the buffo element, which intertwines throughout with the heroic one." This is how Strauss's congenial librettist offered up what was for all practical purposes a fully developed subject to the composer in the spring of 1911. Nevert...heless, it would take half a decade before the comic-heroic plot for Ariadne would find its setting "in the house of the richest man in Vienna." Ever since 1993, this production of the work by the late Elijah Moshinsky (he passed away in January of 2021) has been a distinguished audience favourite of the Met's repertoire, and this time around it will be Norway's Lise Davidsen taking the stage in the title role, while the bravura part of the mischievously comforting Zerbinetta will go to the American soprano Brenda Rae, who made her Met debut right before the start of the long hiatus. Returning to the Met after an absence of three decades will be conductor Marek Janowski, and the male principals will include Brandon Jovanovich, sought all over the world to perform difficult tenor parts, and Johannes Martin Kränzle, perhaps the finest Beckmesser of our time, who will be appearing here as the Music Master.
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Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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