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Culture news, 30.01.2004 13:39

Richard Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos" in Mariinsky theatre

Richard Strauss's One of the most theatrical operas ever written, Richard Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos", which contrasts melancholy and frivolity and brings together operatic art with commedia dell'arte, will make its Mariinsky Theater theatrical debut on Monday.

The opera which first saw the stage in Stuttgart in October 1912 has never been staged at the Mariinsky but was performed in concert version several times over the past two years.

The production is staged by Frenchman Charles Roubaud, who is responsible for three Mariinsky's productions, all highly acclaimed - Saint-Saens' "Samson et Dalila", Verdi's "La Traviata" and Puccini's 'Turandot".

"Ariadne auf Naxos" is a one-act opera, although a lengthy one, lasting for two hours. In the prologue, the Composer [sung by a soprano] is forced to bring commedia dell'arte characters into his serious opera about Ariadne. In the actual opera Ariadne longing for death and indulging in melancholy meets her opposite, the flirtatious comedienne Zerbinette, who has little sentiment about men, who is trying to convert Ariadne towards her philosophy of love. Throughout the opera the tension between two philosophies, two attitudes towards love and fidelity, is tangible. But the grotesque and elements of opera buffa make the confrontation a lively, humorous and most enjoyable experience.

The main roles will be sung by Butayeva, Anastasia Belyayeva, Nadezhda Serdyuk, Marina Shaguch, Larisa Yudina, Avgust Amonov, Sergei Skorokhodov, Andrei Popov, Valery Lebed and Vladimir Tyulpanov.

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