Richard Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos opera to libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Directed 2012 by Sven-Eric Bechtolf at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Emily Magee (The Prima Donna/Ariadne), Elena Moșuc (Zerbinetta), Jonas Kaufmann (The Tenor/Bacchus), Eva Liebau (Naiad/A Shepherdess), Marie-Claude Chappuis (Dryad/A Shepherd), Eleonora Buratto (Echo/A Singer), Gabriel Bermúdez (Harlequin), Michael Laurenz, (Scaramuccio), Tobias Kehrer (Truffaldino), Martin Mitterrutzner (Brighella), Peter Matić (The Major-Domo), Cornelius Obonya (M. Jourdain), Thomas Frank (The Composer), Michael Rotschopf (Hofmannsthal), Regina Fritsch (Ottonie/Dorine), Stefanie Dvorak (Nikoline), and Johannes Lange (Lackey). Dancers are: Arsen Mehrabyan, Artur Babajanyan, Boris Myasnkov, Flavio Salamanka, Hasan Topcuoglu, Oleksandr Kirichenko, Sergiy Kirichenko, and Tigran Mikayelyan. Daniel Harding conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker. Set designs by Rolf Glittenberg; costume designs by Marianne Glittenberg; choreography by Heinz Spoerli; dramaturgy by Ronny Dietrich; lighting by Jürgen Hoffmann; directed for TV by Hannes Rossacher. Released 2014, this disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Here are some program notes from director Sven-Eric Bechtolf published in 2012 in the Salzburg Festival Program for this performance:
"Ariadne auf Naxos was the third collaboration by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, written directly after the great success of Der Rosenkavalier. Originally planned as a 'divertissement with a small chamber orchestra', the project expanded into a grand venture combining opera, drama and ballet – and was a flop at its world premiere in 1912. Now the Salzburg Festival pledges to fulfill 'the still-wonderful dream of its creators: to bring together the different genres of theater, ballet, drama, music and singing.' Sven-Eric Bechtolf will direct this unconventional production, and has not only adapted Molière’s play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, which preceded the opera at the time, but has also reinstated the ballet music written for it subsequently. A hundred years have passed since Hofmannsthal began to work on this tale with the fiercely practical and dramaturgically highly talented Strauss, one hundred years since the disastrous world premiere of Ariadne auf Naxos. We take this ‘anniversary’ as an opportunity to revisit the original version. And where would this make more sense than in Salzburg?"
This could turn out to be an important title for Richard Strauss fans.