Royal Danish Theatre tickets 14 April 2024 - Ariadne auf Naxos |

Ariadne auf Naxos

Royal Danish Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Copenhagen, Denmark
Starts at: 15:00
Intervals: 1
Duration: 2h 45min
Sung in: German
Titles in: Danish
Soprano: Ann Petersen (Ariadne)
Mezzo-Soprano: Elisabeth Jansson (The composer)
Conductor: Giedrė Šlekytė
Tenor: Jamez McCorkle (Bacchus)
Baritone: Michael Kraus (Music teacher)
Soprano: Serena Sáenz (Zerbinetta)
Orchestra: The Royal Danish Orchestra
Composer: Richard Strauss
Librettist: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Director: Katie Mitchell

A cheerful opera about the newfound happiness that awaits just around the corner.

Richard Strauss’ brilliant opera invites the audience backstage where we experience grievance and reconciliation, all while tragedy collides with comedy, and broken hearts are mended anew.

This stroke of genius by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal lampoons the anguishes of art and life. Like many of their other works, the opera is based on a Greek tragedy, and in their musical transformation, the tragedy has been turned into a comic opera.

Katie Mitchell is one of the most exciting British opera directors of our time and celebrated for her incisive approach to operatic classics. In Mitchell’s updated version of Ariadne auf Naxos, a wealthy Viennese couple have commissioned a new composition from a young composer and a group of opera singers to be performed at a large party. A cast of actors has also been hired to entertain the guests.

Since there is not enough time that evening for both performances they must be staged simultaneously. The very different artists involved compete in a whirlwind tour-de-force. After all, what is of most importance: a serious opera or a light-hearted comedy? The opera troupe’s sorrowful Ariadne only yearns for her death after the loss of her beloved Theseus, whereas the play’s prima donna, Zerbinetta, may seem shallow at first glance, but she knows what Ariadne really needs. Hence, tragedy and comedy finally unite in harmony.

In collaboration with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Finnish National Opera and Opéra national de Paris.

Premiere of this production: Staatsoper Stuttgart

Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Combining slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful music, the opera's theme is the competition between high and low art for the public's attention.

Venue Info

Royal Danish Theatre - Copenhagen
Location   August Bournonvilles Passage 2-8

The Royal Danish Theatre is the major opera house in Denmark. It has been located at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen since 1748, originally designated as the king's theatre but with public access. The theatre presents opera, the Royal Danish Ballet, classical music concerts (by the Royal Danish Orchestra, which dates back to 1448), and drama in several locations.

The Royal Danish Theatre organization is under the control of the Danish Ministry of Culture, and its objectives are to ensure the staging of outstanding performances that do justice to the various stages that it controls.

The first edifice on the site was designed by court architect Nicolai Eigtved, who also masterminded Amalienborg Palace. In 1774, the old theatre seating 800 theatergoers were reconstructed by architect C.F. Harsdorff to accommodate a larger audience.

During the theatre's first seasons the staffing was modest. Originally, the ensemble consisted of eight actors, four actresses, two male dancers, and one female dancer. Gradually over the following decades, the Royal Danish Theatre established itself as the kind of multi-theatre we know today, home to drama, opera, ballet, and concerts – all under the same roof and management.

An important prerequisite for the theatre's artistic development is its schools. The oldest is the ballet school, established at the theatre in 1771. Two years later, a vocal academy was established as a forerunner for the opera academy. A number of initiatives were considered regarding a drama school, which was established much later.

King Frederik VI, who ascended the throne in 1808, is probably the monarch who most actively took part in the management of the Royal Danish Theatre, not as an arbiter of taste but as its supreme executive chef.

The theatre's bookkeeping accounts of these years show numerous endorsements where the king took personal decisions on everything from wage increases and bonuses to the purchase of shoelaces for the ballerinas. Indeed, the Royal Danish Theatre became the preoccupation of an introverted nation, following the English Wars had suffered a state bankruptcy. "In Denmark, there is only one city and one theatre," as philosopher Søren Kierkegaard put it.

This was the theatre to which the 14-year-old fairytale storyteller Hans Christian Andersen devoted his early ambition. This was also the theatre that became the social and artistic focal point of the many brilliant artists of Denmark's Golden Age.

After the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1849, the Royal Danish Theatre's status as "the city's theatre" fell into decline. No longer enjoying a monopoly within the performing arts, the Royal Danish Theatre was now required by its new owner, the state, to serve the entire nation. The dilapidated building at Kongens Nytorv also found it hard to compete with the splendor of the new popular stage that was rapidly emerging across town. The solution was to construct a brand new theatre building. It was designed in the Historicist style of the times by architects William Dahlerup and Ove Pedersen and situated alongside the old theatre, which was subsequently demolished.

The inauguration of what we today call the Old Stage took place on 15 October 1874. Here opera and ballet were given ample scope. But due to the scale of the building, the auditorium was less suited for spoken drama, which is why a new playhouse was required.

The Royal Danish Theatre has over the past decade undergone the most extensive transformation ever in its over 250-year history. The Opera House in Copenhagen was inaugurated in January 2005, donated by the AP Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, and designed by architect Henning Larsen. And the Royal Danish Playhouse was completed in 2008. Located by Nyhavn Canal across from the Opera House, the playhouse is designed by architects Boje Lundgaard and Lene Tranberg.

Today, the Royal Danish Theatre comprises the Old Stage, located by Kongens Nytorv, the Opera House, and the Royal Danish Playhouse. 

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Copenhagen, Denmark
Starts at: 15:00
Intervals: 1
Duration: 2h 45min
Sung in: German
Titles in: Danish
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