Ariadne auf Naxos

Richard Strauss

18 February – 24 March 2023

Dates & venues

Comedy and tragedy collide when a wealthy patron commissions two entertainments for his guests – one a knockabout comedy, the other a high-flown mythological opera.

Chaos erupts when, at the last minute, both companies are instructed to perform their pieces simultaneously. The backstage shenanigans of the prologue give way to a meditation on differing attitudes to life and love in the opera proper, with Ariadne, who longs only for death after she is abandoned by the faithless Theseus, contrasted with Zerbinetta, for whom one lover can easily be replaced by another.

All sides of Strauss’s musical personality – comic, heroic and romantic – are on glorious display in this sumptuous confection. Director Rodula Gaitanou locates the action in a Fellini-esque Italian film studio in a production that won high praise when it was first seen in Gothenburg in 2018.

“… has all the hallmarks of a big Opera North hit.”
Sunday Times (Gothenburg, 2018)

A co-production with Gothenburg Opera.
Supported by the Friends of Opera North.

From 15*
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes

Sung in German and English with English titles

Audio described performances

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*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

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Cast & creative

A white woman with long dark hair in a white shirt.
Hanna Hipp


Elizabeth Llewellyn

Prima Donna/Ariadne

Erin Caves


A bald white man with a beard.
Daniel Norman

Dancing Master

A smiling white woman with should-length dark hair.
Jennifer France


A white man with a short beard and hair brush to his right.
John Savournin


A white woman with long, dark hair.
Daisy Brown


Antony Hermus


A smiling white woman with short curly hair.
Rodula Gaitanou


A white man with short dark hair in a t-shirt.
George Souglides

Set and Costume Designer

A white man with short hair and a beard.
Simon Corder

Lighting Designer

A white woman with dark hair.
Victoria Newlyn


Ariadne auf Naxos

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