OperaBox presents a new modern production of Richard Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos from 9-16th September 2016 at the Joy Shepherd Performing Arts Centre, Mosman Park, with full orchestration, sung in German with English surtitles, and featuring a team of over 90+ from WA and Victoria.
Ariadne auf Naxos, which premiered in Vienna precisely 100 years ago, is a hilarious and poignant opera looking at the tension between high art and popular art. This tension plays out as artists on each side fight for their work and we ultimately get to enjoy the beauty of both as they are forced to perform their work simultaneously. Richard Strauss gives our conductor and director a rich score and libretto to work with featuring both comedic moments and lusciously orchestrated art music. Director Kathryn Osborne says “combining these two aesthetics and allowing them to sing together is what’s beautiful about both the music and what I’m most excited about in what will be a modern staging”.
This season represents the WA premiere of this opera with orchestra. Our cast and 34 piece orchestra will be under the baton of Christopher Dragon, one of Australia’s most exciting young conductors. Christopher Dragon is Associate Conductor at Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and former Assistant Conductor at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. The 13-strong principal cast features a thrilling combination of opera singers from both Perth and Melbourne, including soprano Fiona Jopson in the title role (2015 Winner, Herald Sun Aria Competition), Henry Choo, one of Australia’s most popular tenors, and some of Perth’s best opera singers including Jenna Robertson in the coloratura fireworks role of Zerbinetta, Eva-Marie Middleton as the Composer, Michael Heap, Kristin Bowtell, Simon Wood, Ry Charleson, Charles Bogle, Alexandra Bak, Christina The, Belinda Cox and Nick Maclaine in the speaking role of Major Domo.
Ariadne auf Naxos will be directed by award-winning theatre director Kathryn Osborne, “one of our best young theatre directors” (The West Australian). Kathryn is a Company Artist at The Last Great Hunt and most recently was a winner at the WA Young Achiever Awards in the Arts and Fashion category.
Ariadne auf Naxos is a unique, brilliant and difficult German opera, and very different to the 5 operas OperaBox has presented before. It is presented regularly for opera audiences in Europe and USA, but has never been performed with full orchestration in Western Australia. OperaBox are proud to be giving the Western Australian orchestral premiere of Ariadne auf Naxos.
OperaBox is currently largely self-funded, having worked hard to create a small profit on previous smaller scale performances, giving us the capital to produce ever larger operas and take greater programming risks. However, we need to keep building that fund, to allow us to mount these ever more ambitious productions. Your donations will go a long way to help mitigate against any loss from our latest project, Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as helping the company to grow further in the future.