This comedy was the first Richard Strauss opera to be about...opera.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
|The Twmple of Apollo on the Greek island of Naxos.|
the world of opera not everything goes as planned.
A case in point: Richard Strauss’ sixth opera and third collaboration with librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The 1912 version of Ariadne auf Naxos was meant to be performed as a pendant to a Hofmannsthal adaptation of the Moliére play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, for which Strauss had written incidental music. Ariadne (planned as a 30 minute divertissement) would be the crowning jewel of the play. Except that Strauss’ opera ran 90 minutes, and when added to the already long Moliére play, the result was an evening longer than Die Meistersinger.
It was the pair’s first failure.