A wealthy gentleman in Vienna commissions two pieces of entertainment as an after dinner treat for his guests, to be performed by two separate groups of artists: a dramatic opera and a lighted hearted theatrical comedy. Unfortunately, the dinner is running late, and the two ensembles are forced to performance on stage together, at the same time.
The heroine from the operatic story, Ariadne, has been abandoned by Theseus. She laments her lost love and yearns for death, as Zerbinetta and her four companions from the commedia dell’arte troupe attempt to cheer on Ariadne by singing and dancing, but without success. Zerbinetta insists that the best way to cure a broken heart is to find another love. Meanwhile, each of the four commedia men pursues Zerbinetta. High drama and great comedy ensue as Strauss’ exquisite score—which includes the popular Composer’s Aria and stratospheric Zerbinetta’s Aria—carries the action to an ecstatic and love-filled conclusion.
Performed in German with English supertitles.
Part of the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series. Production made possible, in part, through generous support from Karen Wadman and Michael and Beth Kasser.