Ariadne auf Naxos

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Production Photographs

Ariadne auf Naxos



Phaedra is a 16 minute cantata performed by a solo mezzo-soprano. It tells the tale of Pheadra, who falls in love with her husband's son from another marriage. Unable to cope with the guilt anymore Phaedra poisons herself. Britten never intended Phaedra to be staged. In this production Phaedra was performed prior to Ariadne auf Naxos.

Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos is in two parts, called the Prologue and the Opera. The first part shows the backstage circumstances leading up to the second part, which is in fact an opera within an opera.

The Prologue

At the home of 'the richest man in Vienna,' preparations for a party are under way. Two groups of musicians have arrived; one is a burlesque group, led by the saucy comedienne Zerbinetta, the other an opera company, who will present a serious opera, Ariadne auf Naxos. The preparations are thrown into confusion when the Major-domo announces that both performances must take place at the same time. At first, the impetuous young Composer refuses to discuss any changes to his opera. But when his teacher, the Music Master, counsels him to be prudent—and when Zerbinetta turns the full force of her charm on him—he drops his objections. But when he realizes what he has assented to, he is once again plunged into despair, and storms out.

The Opera

Ariadne is shown abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos, bewailing her fate, as she mourns her lost love and longs for death. At this point Zerbinetta and her four companions from the burlesque group appear. They attempt to cheer Ariadne, but without success. In a sustained and dazzling piece of coloratura singing Zerbinetta insists that the simplest way to get over a broken heart is to find another man. In a comic interlude, each of the clowns pursues Zerbinetta. The three nymphs, Naiad, Dryad and Echo then announce the arrival of a stranger on the island. At first Ariadne thinks he is the messenger of death; but in fact it is the god Bacchus. He falls instantly in love with Ariadne and promises to set her in the heavens as a constellation. Zerbinetta returns briefly to repeat her philosophy of love; then the opera ends with the passionate singing of Ariadne and Bacchus.

Creative Team

Director: Ashley Dean

Conductor: Timothy Dean

Designer: Cordelia Chisholm

Lighting Design: Johanna Town

Assistant Light Designer: Laura McNiven


Phaedra: Louise Collett

Ariadne: Fiona Scott*/Margret Einarsdottir**

Bacchus: Bjartmar Sigurdsson

Zerbinetta: Clare Tucker*/Sung-Eun Seo**

Composer: Elysia Leech*/Bohae Kim**

Music Master: Benjamin Weaver

Harlequin: Richard Latham

Brighella: John Pumphrey

Scaramuccio: Warren Gillespie

Truffaldino: Donald Thomson

Echo: Miranda Sinani

Niaid: Marie-Claire Breen

Dryad: Maria Brown

Dancing Master: Reuben Lai

Wig Maker: Owain Browne

Footman: Stephen Fennelly

Officer: Steven Phillips

Haushoffmeister: Tyriggvi Gunnarsson

Servants: Claire Thompson, Monica McGhee, Jonathon Cooke, Revere Taylor

*Performing 23rd and 26th March
** Performing 21st and 25th March

Production Team

Production Management: Lynfryn MacKenzie, Andrew Storer

Stage Manager: Mike Offland

Deputy Stage Manager: Hannah Fisher

Assistant Stage Managers: Martin Aitken, Catherine Lewis

Technical Stage Manager: Alix Ross

Stage Technicians: Richard Evans, Ali Head, Emily Lennox, Barry McDonald, Craig Ralph, Thomas Velluet - Draper

Production Electrician: Christine Scott

Lighting Operator: Lauren McKay

Follow Spot Operator: Jonny Reed

Stage Electricians: Madeleine Hillmann, Laura Jarvis, Emma Whoriskey

Carpenters: Simon Cook, Kris Whitehead

Assistant Carpenters: Frazer Fyfe, Jenny Gamble, Ali Head, Nial MacGillivray, Lauren MacKay, Ashley Thomas, Emilie Velluet-Draper

Prop Makers: Frazer Fyfe, Astrella Oldham, Jenny Walker

Assistant Prop Makers: Samantha Allen, Tom Cullens, Joanne Ferrie, Olivia Hale, Karen Hall, Scott McIntosh

Assistant Scenic Artists: Rhonda Barclay, Ashleigh Blair, Tom Cullens, Matt Edmonds, Joanne Ferrie, Jenny Gamble, Marthe Hoffman, Kristine Comaish, Ayden Millar, Lesley Neilson, Christine Orr, Iain Waugh

Costume Makers: Jane Gordon, Susan Kirkwood

Costume Assistants: Samantha Allen, Luisa Cocozza, Alexander Coll, Olivia Hale, Karen Hall, Holly Hodgart, Katrina Kelly, Emma McBride, Avril Scott

Make Up: Fiona Downie*, Jenna Lyons*

*Students of the Clydebank College Hairdressing & Beauty course.


Coming Soon


Ariadne auf Naxos, RSAMD, Glasgow
CONRAD WILSON March 23 2009
The Herald
Star rating: ****

Richard Strauss, it used to be said, was God's gift to the soprano voice, and in Ariadne auf Naxos he wrote for three different sorts. It was to the RSAMD's credit that its opera department on Saturday had the resources to fulfil the work's contrasted demands, and that this was achieved, moreover, in spades, with alternating singers for the remainder of the four-night run. With Bohae Kim and Sung Eun Seo, a pair of talented Koreans, as the frustrated Composer and frivolous Zerbinetta, we entered a world the Germanic Strauss may never have dreamed of, but the result, more often than not, was an entrancing example of student opera at its best. Though not the flightiest of Zerbinettas - and none the worse for that - Seo sustained her vast showpiece aria with real aplomb, and Kim delivered her hymn to the power of music with ample eloquence. As for the Icelandic Margret Einarsdottir in the title-role, here, it seemed, was a fine nordic Wagnerian in the making. With the prologue set in a clinical corridor of a modern theatre, where the toilets doubled as dressing rooms, opportunities for high-speed comedy were seized by the artful director Ashley Dean. Timothy Dean drew spirited playing from the student orchestra, and the prologue on this occasion had its own prologue in the form of a static staging of Britten's cantata Phaedra, sung by Louise Collett inside a matchbox, destined to reappear as Ariadne's Dali-esque bed recess, designed by Cordelia Chisholm.

The Review on the Herald's Website

Thanks To

Andrew Panton,
Kally Lloyde Jones,
Compass Marine, Dorset,
Claire Donnelly - Scottish Opera Props Department,
David Sneddon - The Tron Theatre Company,
Stage Management Department, Citizens Theatre,
Ferrero UK Ltd,
Graham Dickie - The Dance School Of Scotland,
The Manager, Primark, Sauchiehall Street,
Wickes Builders Merchants,
Guildhall College,
Chubb Fire Protection,
Pets Paraphernalia, Savoy Centre,
Boots, Buchanan Galleries,
The Usher Hall, Edinburgh,
British Home Stores, Sauchiehall Street,
Clydebank College Department of Hairdressing & Beauty,
Millets, Sauchiehall Street,
Intack Shop,
Specsavers Opticians, Argyle Street,
Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond,
Bob Dickie, Scottish Opera Electrics Department,
Danone Water,
Holland & Barrett, Queen Street,
Ann Summers,
Marks & Spencer, Sauchiehall Street and Braehead,
Next, Buchanan Galleries,
John Lewis,,
Ricky Smith,
Pete Searle - Queen Margaret's University College,
McLaren Plastics,

Technical and Production Arts Work Placement Student
Michael Freil