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Side view of theater at dusk with white baffles

Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos Opens July 28

By Daniel Zillmann

Richard Strauss ’ Ariadne auf Naxos Opens July 28

View or Print Press Release (PDF)


A new production comes to the Santa Fe Opera Stage
July 28 at 8:30 pm, August 1, 10, 15, 23 at 8:00 pm
Sung in English and German with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.
A New Santa Fe Opera Production.
First Performed at The Santa Fe Opera in 1957.
Revised version premiered in 1916 at the Court Opera in Vienna.
Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Written for 16 soloists and a Mozartian orchestra of 36 players, Ariadne auf Naxos is Strauss’ most enchanting and wittiest opera, a comic collision of idealism and reality, of backstage grit and onstage glory. Vocal and theatrical fireworks abound in this new production by Tim Albery.

“Ariadne, tragic heroine, alone on her island abandoned by Theseus, waiting for death now that her one and only love has left her … Zerbinetta, comedienne, playing her many lovers off against each other, certain that love is fleeting … The composer of Ariadne, convinced that his Ariadne is right about the nature of true love, but readily seduced by the fascinations of Zerbinetta … The paradoxes that lie at the intersection of art and real life are the stuff of Strauss’ Ariadne,” wrote Director Tim Albery. “We meet the performers and the managers backstage before the show with all their vanities and weaknesses, and then watch the performance itself as, at the whim of a wealthy employer, the pure beauty of the composer’s world is invaded by the improvised mockery of Zerbinetta’s.”

Conductor James Gaffigan*
Director Tim Albery
Scenic Design Tobias Hoheisel
Costume Design Tobias Hoheisel
Lighting Design Thomas C. Hase
Choreographer Kyle Lang
The Prima Donna / Ariadne Amanda Echalaz, soprano
The Tenor / Bacchus Bruce Sledge, tenor
Zerbinetta Liv Redpath*+, soprano
The Composer Amanda Majeski, soprano
The Music Master Rod Gilfry, baritone
The Dancing Master Brenton Ryan*, tenor
Harlequin Jarrett Ott+, baritone
Scaramuccio Matthew DiBattista+, tenor
The Major Domo Kevin Burdette, bass
*debut, +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

Additional Events Surrounding Ariadne auf Naxos

Preview Dinners
Enjoy an opera-themed dinner, including wine, at our open-air cantina on the beautifully landscaped rehearsal grounds. A speaker will offer a brief introduction to the evening’s opera during dessert. At just $70 a person, a Preview Dinner is a great way to kick off your night at the opera.

Prelude Talks
Your road map for the evening’s performance, these talks are complementary to ticket holders and are held in Stieren Orchestra Hall twice before most performances. The first talk is given two hours before the performance and the second is one hour before. Please inform us if you would like to pick up your tickets in time to attend a lecture, as we generally open the media lounge just one hour before the performance. Please note that Prelude Talks are not offered before the Apprentice Showcase Scenes on August 12 and 19.

Backstage Tours
Come discover how an opera production comes together. On our “behind-the-scenes” tour, you will explore many of our production and front-of-house areas. Tours for the 2018 season are offered once daily at 9:00 am, Monday through Friday: Until August 24, 2018. Tours are one hour long and start at the Box Office. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), and free for children and young adults up to age 22. Comfortable dress and footwear is recommended.

Ranch Tours
An extended tour of the grounds, known as the “Opera Ranch,” meets at the Box Office at 10:00 am on the following Fridays: July 27 and August 24 in 2018, and include a “Meet the Artists” presentation by one of our apprentice singers. The Ranch Tour is $10. Reservations are not required.

Opera Insider Days
A free event hosted by The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera on Saturdays (through August 25). At 8:30 am, join us for coffee, juice, and pastries followed by a lively talk about a particular area or opera-related craft from an opera insider, and conclude with a backstage tour. For those attending with children, ask about our scavenger hunt. Reservations are not required.


The mission of The Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.