Performance on Film: Ariadne Auf Naxos
December 11 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm$18 – $20
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Germany
Starring Renee Fleming and Robert Dean Smith
The proven Richard Strauss star trio of Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch and Christian Thielemann gets together once again at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, which continues its series of triumphs following the widely acclaimed Rosenkavalier. A “deluxe offering”, writes Die Welt. With Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s and Richard Strauss’ third collaboration – which devotes itself with great humour to the eternal conflict between art and mere entertainment – Strauss specialist Thielemann again gives proof of his high-calibre musicianship. For the first time, Thielemann leads an opera production at the head of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, which has performed the world premieres of nine Strauss operas. With Dresden’s “miraculous harp”, he conjures up a “heady, transparent and supple sound” (FAZ). An amazingly “chamber-musical … airy” Strauss, claims the Wiener Zeitung. Renée Fleming, the “world’s best soprano” (The New York Times), dazzles in her role debut as the spurned “Ariadne” and once more confirms her one-of-a-kind stage presence. Fleming does full justice to her reputation as “best, most noble-voiced Strauss singer” (Die Welt). Singing alongside her are the musically outstanding Sophie Koch as the captivatingly despairing composer, Robert Dean Smith as a spirited Bacchus and Jane Archibald as a virtuoso Zerbinetta, who ensure “cheers and cries of bravo in Baden-Baden’s Festspielhaus” (SZ). Enhancing the strong ensemble achievement is René Kollo as Major-Domo. In his eleventh production for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Philippe Arlaud puts the accent on colours, humour and lovely sets. He stages the opera – a hybrid of comedy and tragedy – with a brilliant palette of varied colours and contrasting effects.