Opera Philadelphia

R. Strauss/Von Hofmannstahl

Ariadne auf Naxos Ariadne auf Naxos videoPlayWatch

Ariadne auf Naxos

Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannstahl
Performed in German with English supertitles
Aurora Series for Chamber Opera

Fireworks of temperament

When the wealthiest man in Vienna hosts a lavish night of music and fireworks, the entertainment is in no short supply—and neither is the drama. In a farcical twist of fate, a brash burlesque troupe and a buttoned-up opera company must now perform together on the same stage. In a new Curtis Opera Theatre production, the two groups argue, flirt, and fight for the spotlight as the comic preparations of the first act transform into a beautiful opera-within-an-opera before your eyes. Challenging traditional conventions, Strauss combines humor with undeniably beautiful music, proving that no matter the circumstances, the two shows must go on.

MapPerelman Theater

Wed, Mar 4 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Mar 6 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Mar 8 2:30 p.m.

Approx. 2 hrs 20 min.
Includes a 20 min intermission.

The Aurora Series is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation.
The production is funded, in part, through support from the William Penn Foundation. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

New Production. Produced by the Curtis Institute of Music and presented in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Cast & Creative Team

The stars behind the sparks

Heather Stebbins
Heather StebbinsAs Prima Donna/Ariadne
Kevin Ray
Kevin RayAs Tenor/Bacchus
Ashley Milanese
Ashley MilaneseAs Zerbinetta
Lauren Eberwein
Lauren EberweinAs Composer
Sean Plumb
Sean PlumbAs The Music Teacher
Roy Hage
Roy HageAs Dancing Master
Johnathan McCullough
Johnathan McCulloughAs Harlekin
Mingjie Lei
Mingjie LeiAs Brighella
Jean-Michel Richer
Jean-Michel RicherAs Scaramuccio
Thomas Shivone
Thomas ShivoneAs Truffaldin
Dogukan Kuran
Dogukan KuranAs Wig Maker
  • Elena Perroni As Najade
  • Anastasiia Sidorova As Dryade
  • Kirsten Mackinnon As Echo
  • Vartan Gabrielian As Lackey
  • Evan Johnson As Officer
  • Mikael Eliasen Artistic Director
  • David Zinn Set Design
  • Jacob A. Climer Costume Design
  • Mike Inwood Lighting Design
  • Janet Neukirchner Production Stage Manager
  • Sara Prince Stage Manager
  • Tara Bowler Assistant Stage Manager 
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Richard Strauss

The Composer

Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss (b. 1864 - d. 1949, not a relation of the Viennese Waltz family) excelled in two major areas - tone poem and opera. Almost single-handedly, he carried the Wagnerian opera tradition and the Romantic Lisztian tone poem into the twentieth century. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first of the twentieth century, Richard Strauss became a very popular topic of conversation in Europe. His operas, Salome (1905) and Elektra (1909), provoked both discussion and scandal as his work seemed too progressive for his audiences. As a result, his musically challenging operas received negative critical response. Learn more about his life and work.