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HD Live at the Met: Salmar Classic to show Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxo

By Gabriele Klein
The HD Live at the Met presentation of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos will screen at the Salmar Classic on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Contributed)

By Gabriele Klein


Exhilarating dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen stars as the title character of Richard Strauss’s captivating tragicomedy Ariadne auf Naxos.

In this upcoming HD Live at the Met presentation at the Salmar Classic, Davidsen goes head to head with soprano Brenda Rae as the bewitching Zerbinetta. The cast also includes: Isabel Leonard as the composer of the opera within an opera, and Brandon Jovanovich as Ariadne’s lover the god Bacchus. Marek Janowski conducts.

Strauss’s operas cover a wide spectrum of styles from tragic and heroic to comic and expansive to poignantly intimate. In Ariadne auf Naxos, the composer and his brilliant librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, hit on a formula that allowed them to express several aspects of operatic storytelling in a single work.

A prologue, set in the house of the “richest man in Vienna,” shows preparations for a great party. There is to be a serious opera on the subject of Ariadne from Greek mythology and a light entertainment by an Italian commedia dell’arte troupe. But the host upsets everything by announcing that, to save time, the clown show and the opera are to be performed simultaneously.

The second half of Ariadne, the opera itself, presents the resulting combination of lofty and lowbrow entertainments. Comedy and myth complement each other as the flirtatiousness of the comedienne Zerbinetta contrasts with the grand sentiments of Ariadne.

The performance starts at 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. Run time is approximately two hours and 50 minutes (including 40 minute intermission).

Read more: ROOTSandBLUES: Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane to play Salmon Arm festival
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