Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Extrablatt – Salzburg Ariadne 2012

I just watched the "original" Ariadne auf Naxos live online from Salzburg, and I really enjoyed it. Although I have to admit the play section left me a bit cold, in great part because there were no subtitles. I know enough German to get the gist of what is going on, but not the nuances. Though I am not sure there were many nuances, judging from Zerbinetta's (the blogger, not the character) review, which is quite detailed and perceptive.  

Jonas Kaufmann is the first tenor who has completely convinced me as Bacchus (Roberto Sacca is pretty good too). He has the looks (of course) and the fullness and richness of voice to sound firm, and not like a panther with its tail caught in the catflap. Kauffman, Emily Magee as Ariadne, Elena Moșuc  as Zerbinetta, and Gabriel Bermúdez as Harlekin made the opera well worth watching. (The last three also in the Guth production I am still pondering.) I think Magee was in better voice tonight than the night Zerbi heard her. 

Ariadne (Magee) and her cat Bacchus (Kaufmann.)

The original version of the opera has a bit more music than the later, more familiar version. Frankly, it was disorienting when Zerbinetta kept going on and on. If you think her big aria is killer as we know it, wait till you hear the original!  I do like the extra Zerbinetta stuff at the end though. It sort of closes the frame around the opera. I am not quite sure what to make of the pianos, but they didn't bother me. 

Anyway, you can get a lot more detail in Zerbi's review (linked above) but I wanted to add my two cents' worth on Salzburg, Kaufmann, Ariadne, and (I love the internet!!!) Watch it while it's still free!


  1. I too watched this Ariadne on my computer screen--not ideal. I do hope that it becomes available on a commercial DVD, but please with Kaufmann not Sacca. Magee's previous Ariadne is gorgeous, beautifully sung and acted. Her two arias are matched only by Cebotari. I will concede that Voigt's performance is well sung but she is dramatically inert and utterly without involvement. I doubt if she could sing this music post surgery. Norman's performance is as inert as well. Both ladies are carrying too much weight. I did see Janowitz in Vienna in the production that was filmed. Impressive on stage and slightly boring on film. Like you I stuck with the "Prologue" even though I suspect your German is beter than mine.

  2. Someone posted this whole performance on YouTube. One hopes that since Medici streamed it they will also allow the recording to be released commercially. On an only semi-related note, I always wish I could have seen Christa Ludwig's Ariadne.

    And I do enjoy my Ariadnes more when they are interactive (Voigt makes an attempt, but I think Norman's director discouraged it. The best part of that DVD is getting to see the sopranos in rehearsal with Maestro Levine.

    Have you seen the Guth Ariadne from Zurich?


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