25 June 2017

Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne (2017)

I had seen Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne before, in 2013, and I said then that "it was all very pretty, even if it did not make a lot of sense" so I was happy to see it again when it was revived for this year's festival.

Some friends wanted to see it too and I managed to get seats Red Upper Circle C38-41 at £100. Good seats in a good part of the theatre for a good price.

The traffic was kind so we arrived there just after 3pm, the official opening time but we were by no means the first people there. The weather was kind too so while we bagged a table in the marquee out of convenience we were able to spend a long time walking through the gardens before the opera started.

The production was much as I remembered it from earlier, though to be honest I did not remember that much, just general themes and concepts. Of course I could have read the synopsis in the programme or even my notes from the last time but that is not the sort of thing that I do. I prefer surprises.

I found Ariadne auf Naxos just as confusing the second time round and, just like the first time, that had no impact on my enjoyment of the opera at all. The first scene-setting half was nice enough but the second surreal half was gorgeous. Obviously Richard Strauss knew how to write a good tune and Glyndebourne know where to find good singers. The combination was dazzling.

I know I say the singing is good, or better, every time that I go to Glyndebourne but I only say that because it is true and this year I think that the singing has been even better than usual.

Ariadne auf Naxos was all very pretty, even if it did not make a lot of sense

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