STRAUSS Ariadne auf Naxos. Natalie Dessay, Deborah Voigt, Susanne Mentzer, Nathan Gunn, Richard Margison, New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus, New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / James Levine. Virgin DVD

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Strauss Ariadne Auf Naxos Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Levine Virgin Dvd

R. STRAUSS

Ariadne auf Naxos

Natalie Dessay, Deborah Voigt, Susanne Mentzer, Nathan Gunn, Richard Margison, New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus, New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / James Levine

1. Ariadne auf Naxos - Opening titles

2. Ariadne auf Naxos - Prologue

3. Ariadne auf Naxos - Vorhang - 'Mein Herr Haushofmeister'

4. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Hier finden Euer Gnaden...'

5. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Eselsgesicht'

6. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Wer ist dieses entzückende Mädchen....'

7. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Hast ein Stückerl Notenpapier?'

8. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'im Gegenteil....'

9. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'ihnen allen habe ich....'

10. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Ich weiß nicht wo mir der Kopf steht'

11. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'der Ariadne müssen Sie streichen'

12. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Sie hält ihn für den Todesgott'

13. Ariadne auf Naxos - Sie gibt sich dem Tod hin!'

14. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Ein Augenblick'

15. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'An ihre Plätze'

16. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Seien wir wieder gut'

17. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Was ist das?'

18. Ariadne auf Naxos - Ouverture 'Ariadne'

19. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Schläft sie?'

20. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Wo war ich'

21. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Wie jung und schön'

22. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Ein Schönes war....'

23. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Lieben, Hassen'

24. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Es gibt ein Reich....'

25. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Die Dame gibt mit trübem Sinn'

26. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Großmächtige Prinzessin'

27. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Hübsch gepredigt aber tauben Ohren'

28. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Elne Störrische zu trösten'

29. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Ein schönes Wunder'

30. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Circe, Circe....'

31. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Töne, Töne....'

32. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Doch da ich unverwandelt....'

33. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Circe, Circe...'

34. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Das waren Zauberworte'

35. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Gibt es kein Hinüber?'

36. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Du! Alles du!'

37. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Töne, töne - 'Was hängt mir....'

38. Ariadne auf Naxos - 'Deiner hab' ich um alles bedurft'

39. Ariadne auf Naxos - Opening Titles

Recorded in 2003 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, this sumptuous production of Ariadne auf Naxos presents divas Deborah Voigt and Natalie Dessay in the contrasting roles which embody the opera’s themes.

Two of today’s reigning sopranos – Deborah Voigt and Natalie Dessay – embody the contrasting philosophies at the heart of Ariadne auf Naxos: the deserted princess Ariadne, a ‘one-man woman’ who believes in loyalty unto death, and the flirtatious comedienne Zerbinetta, who takes a more pragmatic attitude to love and to life.

This recording from the Metropolitan Opera dates from 2003. The noble, soaring lines of Ariadne gave Voigt a major breakthrough in 1991, when she sang the role in Boston, and it subsequently became her signature role. Zerbinetta exemplifies the dizzy coloratura characters which first made Dessay’s reputation.

Two reviews from the New York Times evoke the first night of Elijah Moshinsky’s production in 1993, and the performance a decade later that is commemorated on this DVD.

About the production:

“The kind of pleasure provided by the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos on Thursday night was precisely the kind of pleasure the work is intended to give: the thrill of beauty encased in irony, of sincerity at the edge of self-consciousness …Elijah Moshinsky's beautiful new production goes closer to the spirit of the piece, in which a rich gentleman requests that two contrasting entertainments be performed simultaneously: a comic commedia dell'arte romp and a tragic opera based on the Greek myth of Ariadne ... Various worlds swirl in a Straussian fantasy: the backstage and proscenium, the mythic and comic, the bourgeois and the aesthetic …

“Michael Yeargan's set for the prologue was literally a grand backstage scene, in which the Composer strains to maintain the integrity of his opera seria in the face of incipient farce. The greasepaint and bustle (with mimes and harlequins mixing with stage hands and opera stars) was exhilarating … The work's second half, which consists entirely of the Composer's staged opera with its commedia interpolations, was presented without any hint of that backstage world. Schematic suggestions of gold-rimmed mountains appeared in front of a backdrop of the heavens on which the mythic figures of the constellations were arrayed … The haunting trio of Greek spirits stood at elephantine heights on stilt-like platforms draped with skirts. When the commedia troupe arrived … Mr. Moshinsky gave it a playful spirit that recalled the films of Ingmar Bergman, who used the saucy innocence of touring acting groups as foils to the world of tragic reflection.”

About the performance on this DVD:

“… Ariadne auf Naxos returned to the Met in Elijah Moshinsky's fanciful 1993 production with Deborah Voigt as the prima donna who also portrays Ariadne in the work's opera-within-the-opera, Susanne Mentzer as the young male composer, and Natalie Dessay as Zerbinetta, the vivacious star of a commedia dell'arte troupe.

“Ms. Mentzer conveyed the harried despondency of the intensely self-serious young composer … with fervour and vibrancy … She also endearingly conveyed this fledgling creator's epiphany when Zerbinetta makes him realise that other things in life, say, a pretty girl, can compensate for the temporary mutilation of his opera.

“With breezy confidence, Ms. Dessay dashed off Zerbinetta's coloratura flights, pushed to comic excess in her daunting showpiece aria. Ms. Dessay's warm and focused sound carried easily throughout the house ... Ms. Dessay makes Zerbinetta humane and achingly funny. Ms. Voigt brought floods of cool radiant sound, arching lyrical beauty, crisp diction and sheer vocal charisma to her signature role. Both as the prima donna in a tizzy fit and as Ariadne bereft of love on her desert island, she was at once truly grand and amusingly self-deprecating, striking deadpan poses that any Broadway actor would envy.

“Ariadne is rescued, of course, by Bacchus … This dramatic tenor role … was sung with impressive confidence by Richard Margison. The baritone Nathan Gunn's hearty voice and light-footed nimbleness enlivened his portrayal of Harlekin. James Levine led a supple and fetchingly colored performance of the work … During the ovations, people tore up programs to shower Ms. Dessay and Ms. Voigt with makeshift confetti, a scene now captured for some future television broadcast.”

Virgin DVD 6418679

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