Ariadne auf Naxos

ariadne header

Ariadne Comes to Texas

A playful and passionate tale in a rural barn setting.

Richard Strauss’s tour de force Ariadne auf Naxos tells the story of a wealthy man who has assembled two groups of performers at his ranch – a group of opera singers preparing for a serious opera, and a troupe of comedians scheduled to perform an Italian comedy. As time grows short, the patron demands that the opera and the comedy be performed together, leading to an array of unexpected – and ultimately very satisfying – results.

Celebrated director Francesca Zambello’s production debuted at The Glimmerglass Festival, and re-imagines the playful and passionate tale in a rural barn setting. Glorious music and vocal fireworks from an ensemble cast led by soprano Alexandra LoBianco, tenor Jonathon Burton, soprano Jeni Houser, and mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano bring this romantic tale of backstage hijinks to life.

Production Run Time:
Part One – 40 minutes
Intermission – 25 minutes
Part two – 80 minutes

Total Run Time: Approximately 2.5 hours

Alexandra LoBianco

Alexandra LoBianco*
Prima Donna/Ariadne

Burton

Jonathan Burton*
Tenor/Bacchus

Jeni Houser

Jeni Houser*
Zerbinetta

Aleksandra Romano

Aleks Romano*
Composer

Robert Faires
Manager of the Ranch

David Small
Agent

Doug Jones
Dance Captain

Andrew Lovato
Harlequin

Brian Yeakley*
Brighella

Erik Van Heyningen*
Truffaldino

Sara Ann Mitchell
Naiad

Claudia Chapa
Dryade

Megan Pachecano
Echo

Joshua Blue*
Scaramuccio

Austin Siebert
Wig Maker

Brett Barnes
Farmhand

Production

Music: Richard Strauss
Libretto: Hugo von Hofmannstahl
Director: Francesca Zambello
Stage Director: Jennifer Williams*
Scenic Designer: Troy Hourie*
Costume Designer: Erik Teague*
Lighting Designer: James Sale
Wig and Makeup Designer: Melanie Steele
Audio Designer: Bill Mester
Production Stage Manager: Kathleen Edwards
Assistant Stage Director: Rebecca A. Herman
Choreographer: Andrew Harper*
Chorus Master/ Assistant Conductor: Cina Crisara
Principal Coach & Pianist: Nyle Matsuoka
Supertitles: Kelley Rourke*

Adapted and Translated by Kelley Rourke

Performed in German and English with English supertitles

*Austin Opera debut

Driving routes to the Long Center for the Performing Arts are impacted by events all around town. To arrive at the performance on time, please build extra time into your pre-show plans and arrive early to ensure you can find nearby parking and enjoy the amenities we have in store for you.

Palmer Events Center Garage

  • On-site parking is available at the Palmer Events Center Garage – $8 for self-parking and $18 for valet parking. When making your final approach to the Long Center after the traffic circle on Riverside Drive, please use the left lane for self-parking and the right lane for valet parking. If you plan to park here, please allow extra time in your arrival plan for the inevitable traffic delays.

One Texas Center Garage

  • Avoid the crush at the Long Center by parking at the nearby One Texas Center Garage for only $5. The One Texas Center Garage is located at 505 Barton Springs Road; enter the Garage directly from Haywood Avenue. Allow 10 minutes to walk from One Texas Center to the Long Center. Arrive early and relax!

NEW! Tacos on the Terrace

Arrive early and relax on the Long Center’s beautiful outdoor Terrace! New this season, you can purchase tacos from renowned local food truck Taco Baby. Drinks will be available at bars on the Terrace (weather permitting) and throughout the Center before the show begins and again during intermission.

If you attend the Saturday and Thursday performance, the food truck will be open at 5:30 P.M. through the end of intermission.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the food truck will be open at 12:30 P.M. through the end of intermission.

So grab a taco and a beer and admire the stunning view of the Austin skyline before the performance!

Remember that drinks in special cups can be brought into the performance. Ask your bartender for details.

FREE Opera Overtures Lecture

Arrive to the performance early for a special peek inside the composer’s mind and into the history and social context of Ariadne auf Naxos. Please join us inside the theater for this free half-hour lecture, led by a musicologist. It’s the perfect pre-show entertainment for both opera aficionados and first-time opera goers alike!

If you attend the Saturday or Thursday performance, the lecture begins at 6:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the lecture begins at 1:30 P.M.

Join the Conversation at Austin Opera’s Photo Booth!

Snap a picture with your opera friends (and make some new opera friends!) at Austin Opera’s new Photo Booth in the northwest corner of the lobby on the orchestra level near Door 15. Then share on social media with @austinopera.

At Intermission

There will be one 25-minute intermission.

If you attend the Thursday or Saturday performance, intermission begins at 8:15 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, intermission begins at 3:15 P.M.

Save time and pre-order your intermission drinks at any bar in the Long Center.

The Taco Baby food truck and outdoor bar on the Terrace will continue to be open at intermission.

Part One

In the house of a rich man, preparations are in progress for the performance of a new opera seria, “Ariadne auf Naxos. The Manager of the Ranch enters to inform the Agent that immediately after the opera an Italian comedy will be performed, followed by a fireworks display in the garden. The outraged Agent replies that the composer, his young pupil, will never tolerate that, but the Manager of the Ranch is unimpressed by his objections and leaves. When the Composer appears, hoping for a last minute rehearsal, a disdainful Ranch-hand tells her that the musicians are still playing dinner music. Suddenly the Tenor rushes from his dressing room, arguing with the Wig Maker. The Prima Donna furiously comments on the presence of the comedy troupe and their leading lady, Zerbinetta. In the middle of the confusion, the Manager of the Ranch returns with an announcement: in order for the fireworks to begin on time, the opera and the comedy are to be performed simultaneously.  

General consternation soon gives way to practical reactions. The Dance Caption suggests cutting the opera’s score. The Agent persuades the despairing Composer to do so, while the two lead singers independently urge him to abridge the other’s part. Meanwhile, Zerbinetta gives her troupe a briefing on the opera’s plot. Ariadne, they are told, has been abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos, where she now waits for death. Zerbinetta, however, claims that all Ariadne really needs is a new lover. When the Composer vehemently disagrees, Zerbinetta begins to flirt with her. Suddenly the young lady finds new hope. Filled with love and enthusiasm for her work, she passionately declares music the greatest of all the arts. But when she catches sight of the comedians, ready to go on stage, she realizes with horror what she has agreed to. She blames the Agent for the artistic debacle and runs off.

Intermission 25 Minutes

Part Two

The Ariadne myth tells how Prince Theseus of Athens set out for Crete to kill the Minotaur, a creature half man, half bull, who was concealed in a labyrinth. Princess Ariadne of Crete fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of thread that enabled him to find his way out of the labyrinth after he had killed the Minotaur. When Theseus left Crete, he took Ariadne with him as his bride. During their voyage home they stopped at the island of Naxos. While Ariadne was asleep, Theseus slipped away and continued his journey to Athens without her. The opera Ariadne auf Naxos begins at this point.

Ariadne is alone in front of her cave. Three nymphs look on and lament her fate. Watching from the wings, the comedians are doubtful whether they will be able to cheer her up. Ariadne recalls her love for Theseus (“Ein Schönes war”), then imagines herself as a chaste girl, awaiting death. Harlequin tries to divert her with a song (“Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen”) but Ariadne ignores him. As if in a trance, she resolves to await Hermes, messenger of death. He will take her to another world where everything is pure (“Es gibt ein Reich”). When the comedians’ efforts continue to fail, Zerbinetta finally addresses Ariadne directly (“Grossmächtige Prinzessin!”), woman to woman, explaining to her the human need to change an old love for a new. Insulated, Ariadne leaves. After Zerbinetta has finished her speech, her colleagues leap back onto the scene, competing for her attention. Zerbinetta gives in to Harlequin’s comic protestations of love and the comedians exit.

The nymphs announce the approach of a ship: it carries the young god Bacchus, who has escaped the enchantress Circe. Bacchus’s voice is heard in the distance (“Circe, kannst du mich hören?”) and Ariadne prepares to greet her visitor, whom she thinks must be death at last. When he appears, she at first mistakes him for Theseus, but he majestically proclaims his godhood. Entranced by her beauty, Bacchus tells her he would sooner see the stars vanish than give her up. Reconciled to a new existence, Ariadne joins Bacchus as they ascend to the heavens. Zerbinetta sneaks in to have the last word: “When a new god comes along, we’re dumbstruck.”

Director's Notes

What do opera and pop culture have in common? More than you might think. Francesca Zambello’s vibrant production of Ariadne in Naxos brings into focus the culture clash that unexpectedly yields a story about the transformative power of love.

Updated to our present day, the story takes place on a dude ranch, not unlike that of Rancho Cortez from the hit reality TV show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. The conflict is between classical musicians from the elite conservatories UT and Zerbinetta’s flashy rock band. Their worlds collide when their patron demands they perform their radically different pieces simultaneously. Chaos ensues as the unlikely collaborators try to find a common language. Sheltered by her slick agent, the young, fiery composer desperately attempts to protect the debut of her brilliant – though esoteric – masterwork. She discovers that her nemesis – the flashy dancer, Zerbinetta – may actually be her soulmate. In the performance of “Ariadne in Naxos” that follows, the mythical Ariadne’s trajectory mirrors that of the composer: she chooses to cast aside her fear of the unknown and embrace the thrilling, and terrifying, transformative power of love.

Troy Hourie’s dazzling set evokes the posh world of a luxury farm. Mirroring the story, we watch it transform poetically from a literal space into a figurative one. Erik Teague’s steampunk-inspired costumes bring all the story’s vibrant personalities to life: the glamorous Primadonna, the narcissistic Tenor; the flamboyant Zerbinetta and her colorful boy band; the chic young composer; the snarky Farmhand; and many more. The clash of languages in Kelley Rourke’s witty adaptation brings to the foreground the clash of values between the classical musicians (who sing in German) and the rock band (who interrupt them in English). The audience has the great joy of watching these characters seek compromise despite speaking different languages – literally and figuratively. Andrew Harper’s boy band-inspired choreography brings an unexpected element to the Austin Opera stage: Zerbinetta and her band’s wild dance numbers might just steal the show!

This unforgettable production reminds us why we come to the opera: to witness the transformation of the human spirit – and to have a great time.

Jennifer Williams

Ariadne Masterclass banner with Jonathan Burton headshot

Join Austin Opera for a masterclass presented in partnership with the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas. The masterclass allows UT students to work with an internationally recognized performer, tenor, Jonathan Burton, from Ariadne auf Naxos. Just RSVP for this free event.

Monday, January 29, 2018 
6:30 P.M.

UrbanNites Ariadne banner

UrbanNites at the Opera is Austin’s premier social club! On Thursday evenings, Austinites gather for drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the Kodosky Lounge prior to the performances- all for one price! Guests will be treated this season with a show-inspired signature gin cocktail, sponsored by ROXOR Artisan Gin. There will be mingling, music, and much more! Purchase a single ticket to an event for $75.

Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:00 P.M.

Ariadne Sunday Brunch Presentation Banner

Join us for brunch and a fascinating lecture before the Sunday matinees.

 Sunday, February 4, 2018 
12:30 P.M.

Overview

Richard Strauss’s tour de force Ariadne auf Naxos tells the story of a wealthy man who has assembled two groups of performers at his ranch – a group of opera singers preparing for a serious opera, and a troupe of comedians scheduled to perform an Italian comedy. As time grows short, the patron demands that the opera and the comedy be performed together, leading to an array of unexpected – and ultimately very satisfying – results.

Celebrated director Francesca Zambello’s production debuted at The Glimmerglass Festival, and re-imagines the playful and passionate tale in a rural barn setting. Glorious music and vocal fireworks from an ensemble cast led by soprano Alexandra LoBianco, tenor Jonathon Burton, soprano Jeni Houser, and mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano bring this romantic tale of backstage hijinks to life.

Production Run Time:
Part One – 40 minutes
Intermission – 25 minutes
Part two – 80 minutes

Total Run Time: Approximately 2.5 hours

Cast and Production
Alexandra LoBianco

Alexandra LoBianco*
Prima Donna/Ariadne

Burton

Jonathan Burton*
Tenor/Bacchus

Jeni Houser

Jeni Houser*
Zerbinetta

Aleksandra Romano

Aleks Romano*
Composer

Robert Faires
Manager of the Ranch

David Small
Agent

Doug Jones
Dance Captain

Andrew Lovato
Harlequin

Brian Yeakley*
Brighella

Erik Van Heyningen*
Truffaldino

Sara Ann Mitchell
Naiad

Claudia Chapa
Dryade

Megan Pachecano
Echo

Joshua Blue*
Scaramuccio

Austin Siebert
Wig Maker

Brett Barnes
Farmhand

Production

Music: Richard Strauss
Libretto: Hugo von Hofmannstahl
Director: Francesca Zambello
Stage Director: Jennifer Williams*
Scenic Designer: Troy Hourie*
Costume Designer: Erik Teague*
Lighting Designer: James Sale
Wig and Makeup Designer: Melanie Steele
Audio Designer: Bill Mester
Production Stage Manager: Kathleen Edwards
Assistant Stage Director: Rebecca A. Herman
Choreographer: Andrew Harper*
Chorus Master/ Assistant Conductor: Cina Crisara
Principal Coach & Pianist: Nyle Matsuoka
Supertitles: Kelley Rourke*

Adapted and Translated by Kelley Rourke

Performed in German and English with English supertitles

*Austin Opera debut

Parking and Arrival Information

Driving routes to the Long Center for the Performing Arts are impacted by events all around town. To arrive at the performance on time, please build extra time into your pre-show plans and arrive early to ensure you can find nearby parking and enjoy the amenities we have in store for you.

Palmer Events Center Garage

  • On-site parking is available at the Palmer Events Center Garage – $8 for self-parking and $18 for valet parking. When making your final approach to the Long Center after the traffic circle on Riverside Drive, please use the left lane for self-parking and the right lane for valet parking. If you plan to park here, please allow extra time in your arrival plan for the inevitable traffic delays.

One Texas Center Garage

  • Avoid the crush at the Long Center by parking at the nearby One Texas Center Garage for only $5. The One Texas Center Garage is located at 505 Barton Springs Road; enter the Garage directly from Haywood Avenue. Allow 10 minutes to walk from One Texas Center to the Long Center. Arrive early and relax!
Pre-Show Amenities

NEW! Tacos on the Terrace

Arrive early and relax on the Long Center’s beautiful outdoor Terrace! New this season, you can purchase tacos from renowned local food truck Taco Baby. Drinks will be available at bars on the Terrace (weather permitting) and throughout the Center before the show begins and again during intermission.

If you attend the Saturday and Thursday performance, the food truck will be open at 5:30 P.M. through the end of intermission.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the food truck will be open at 12:30 P.M. through the end of intermission.

So grab a taco and a beer and admire the stunning view of the Austin skyline before the performance!

Remember that drinks in special cups can be brought into the performance. Ask your bartender for details.

FREE Opera Overtures Lecture

Arrive to the performance early for a special peek inside the composer’s mind and into the history and social context of Ariadne auf Naxos. Please join us inside the theater for this free half-hour lecture, led by a musicologist. It’s the perfect pre-show entertainment for both opera aficionados and first-time opera goers alike!

If you attend the Saturday or Thursday performance, the lecture begins at 6:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the lecture begins at 1:30 P.M.

Join the Conversation at Austin Opera’s Photo Booth!

Snap a picture with your opera friends (and make some new opera friends!) at Austin Opera’s new Photo Booth in the northwest corner of the lobby on the orchestra level near Door 15. Then share on social media with @austinopera.

At Intermission

There will be one 25-minute intermission.

If you attend the Thursday or Saturday performance, intermission begins at 8:15 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, intermission begins at 3:15 P.M.

Save time and pre-order your intermission drinks at any bar in the Long Center.

The Taco Baby food truck and outdoor bar on the Terrace will continue to be open at intermission.

Synopsis

Part One

In the house of a rich man, preparations are in progress for the performance of a new opera seria, “Ariadne auf Naxos. The Manager of the Ranch enters to inform the Agent that immediately after the opera an Italian comedy will be performed, followed by a fireworks display in the garden. The outraged Agent replies that the composer, his young pupil, will never tolerate that, but the Manager of the Ranch is unimpressed by his objections and leaves. When the Composer appears, hoping for a last minute rehearsal, a disdainful Ranch-hand tells her that the musicians are still playing dinner music. Suddenly the Tenor rushes from his dressing room, arguing with the Wig Maker. The Prima Donna furiously comments on the presence of the comedy troupe and their leading lady, Zerbinetta. In the middle of the confusion, the Manager of the Ranch returns with an announcement: in order for the fireworks to begin on time, the opera and the comedy are to be performed simultaneously.  

General consternation soon gives way to practical reactions. The Dance Caption suggests cutting the opera’s score. The Agent persuades the despairing Composer to do so, while the two lead singers independently urge him to abridge the other’s part. Meanwhile, Zerbinetta gives her troupe a briefing on the opera’s plot. Ariadne, they are told, has been abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos, where she now waits for death. Zerbinetta, however, claims that all Ariadne really needs is a new lover. When the Composer vehemently disagrees, Zerbinetta begins to flirt with her. Suddenly the young lady finds new hope. Filled with love and enthusiasm for her work, she passionately declares music the greatest of all the arts. But when she catches sight of the comedians, ready to go on stage, she realizes with horror what she has agreed to. She blames the Agent for the artistic debacle and runs off.

Intermission 25 Minutes

Part Two

The Ariadne myth tells how Prince Theseus of Athens set out for Crete to kill the Minotaur, a creature half man, half bull, who was concealed in a labyrinth. Princess Ariadne of Crete fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of thread that enabled him to find his way out of the labyrinth after he had killed the Minotaur. When Theseus left Crete, he took Ariadne with him as his bride. During their voyage home they stopped at the island of Naxos. While Ariadne was asleep, Theseus slipped away and continued his journey to Athens without her. The opera Ariadne auf Naxos begins at this point.

Ariadne is alone in front of her cave. Three nymphs look on and lament her fate. Watching from the wings, the comedians are doubtful whether they will be able to cheer her up. Ariadne recalls her love for Theseus (“Ein Schönes war”), then imagines herself as a chaste girl, awaiting death. Harlequin tries to divert her with a song (“Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen”) but Ariadne ignores him. As if in a trance, she resolves to await Hermes, messenger of death. He will take her to another world where everything is pure (“Es gibt ein Reich”). When the comedians’ efforts continue to fail, Zerbinetta finally addresses Ariadne directly (“Grossmächtige Prinzessin!”), woman to woman, explaining to her the human need to change an old love for a new. Insulated, Ariadne leaves. After Zerbinetta has finished her speech, her colleagues leap back onto the scene, competing for her attention. Zerbinetta gives in to Harlequin’s comic protestations of love and the comedians exit.

The nymphs announce the approach of a ship: it carries the young god Bacchus, who has escaped the enchantress Circe. Bacchus’s voice is heard in the distance (“Circe, kannst du mich hören?”) and Ariadne prepares to greet her visitor, whom she thinks must be death at last. When he appears, she at first mistakes him for Theseus, but he majestically proclaims his godhood. Entranced by her beauty, Bacchus tells her he would sooner see the stars vanish than give her up. Reconciled to a new existence, Ariadne joins Bacchus as they ascend to the heavens. Zerbinetta sneaks in to have the last word: “When a new god comes along, we’re dumbstruck.”

Director’s Notes

Director's Notes

What do opera and pop culture have in common? More than you might think. Francesca Zambello’s vibrant production of Ariadne in Naxos brings into focus the culture clash that unexpectedly yields a story about the transformative power of love.

Updated to our present day, the story takes place on a dude ranch, not unlike that of Rancho Cortez from the hit reality TV show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. The conflict is between classical musicians from the elite conservatories UT and Zerbinetta’s flashy rock band. Their worlds collide when their patron demands they perform their radically different pieces simultaneously. Chaos ensues as the unlikely collaborators try to find a common language. Sheltered by her slick agent, the young, fiery composer desperately attempts to protect the debut of her brilliant – though esoteric – masterwork. She discovers that her nemesis – the flashy dancer, Zerbinetta – may actually be her soulmate. In the performance of “Ariadne in Naxos” that follows, the mythical Ariadne’s trajectory mirrors that of the composer: she chooses to cast aside her fear of the unknown and embrace the thrilling, and terrifying, transformative power of love.

Troy Hourie’s dazzling set evokes the posh world of a luxury farm. Mirroring the story, we watch it transform poetically from a literal space into a figurative one. Erik Teague’s steampunk-inspired costumes bring all the story’s vibrant personalities to life: the glamorous Primadonna, the narcissistic Tenor; the flamboyant Zerbinetta and her colorful boy band; the chic young composer; the snarky Farmhand; and many more. The clash of languages in Kelley Rourke’s witty adaptation brings to the foreground the clash of values between the classical musicians (who sing in German) and the rock band (who interrupt them in English). The audience has the great joy of watching these characters seek compromise despite speaking different languages – literally and figuratively. Andrew Harper’s boy band-inspired choreography brings an unexpected element to the Austin Opera stage: Zerbinetta and her band’s wild dance numbers might just steal the show!

This unforgettable production reminds us why we come to the opera: to witness the transformation of the human spirit – and to have a great time.

Jennifer Williams

Ariadne Events
Ariadne Masterclass banner with Jonathan Burton headshot

Join Austin Opera for a masterclass presented in partnership with the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas. The masterclass allows UT students to work with an internationally recognized performer, tenor, Jonathan Burton, from Ariadne auf Naxos. Just RSVP for this free event.

Monday, January 29, 2018 
6:30 P.M.

UrbanNites Ariadne banner

UrbanNites at the Opera is Austin’s premier social club! On Thursday evenings, Austinites gather for drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the Kodosky Lounge prior to the performances- all for one price! Guests will be treated this season with a show-inspired signature gin cocktail, sponsored by ROXOR Artisan Gin. There will be mingling, music, and much more! Purchase a single ticket to an event for $75.

Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:00 P.M.

Ariadne Sunday Brunch Presentation Banner

Join us for brunch and a fascinating lecture before the Sunday matinees.

 Sunday, February 4, 2018 
12:30 P.M.

Media
7:30PM, Saturday, January 27, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
7:30PM, Thursday, February 1, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
2:30PM, Sunday, February 4, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
3:00PM, Thursday, February 8, 2018
4th Tap Brewing Coop-LOLA venue
10615 Metric Blvd
Austin, Texas 78758
Menu

Austin Opera Patron Services
512-610-7684; Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Long Center Box Office Hours
512-474-5664
Monday-Friday:10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday: open during scheduled performances

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