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 medici.tv (I love the internet!!!) Watch it while it's still free!