Ariadne auf Naxos

Opera 2017

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The richest man in Vienna arranges for a classic, tragic opera to be performed as the highlight of his grand party. After a series of complications, the two performances need to take place at the same time so they are finished in time for the evening’s grand finale – the fireworks! 

Few tickets left for the premiere in Bodø and the first show in Tromsø.
Second show in Bodø and Tromsø offers a group discount for 5 people.
Showstart 7pm, finished at 10pm. 

This is Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera about an opera - and a performance where the popular is set up against the high cultural. It actually contains a bit of both - the serious opera and a good laugh. Always accompanied by fabulous music and impressive song performances. 

Composer Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal had already made great success with operas such as Elektra and Der Rosenkavalier when they wrote Ariadne auf Naxos. an The opera consists of a prologue and one act, which is the opera in the opera.


The richest man in Vienna commissions a classic, tragic opera by a young and promising composer, to be played at his great party. However, the rich man becomes nervous that his guests will be bored by the opera. Therefore, he also arranges for an Italian comedy to be performed to lighten the mood. 

The composer is outraged, and the Primadonna who is to sing Ariadne naturally does not get along with the dancer Zerbinetta - the star of the italian comedy. Their honors are at stake here - who will play first, and which of the opera and the comedy will receive the more attention?

The atmosphere is hectic and nervous before the performance, and it doesn't help that the Major Domo constantly presents new and impossible demands and orders from the host. It culminates with a command that instead of performing the tragedy and comedy after one another as planned, they must be performed at the same time, and on the same stage! The composer is talked into agreeing by his music teacher, and the italians proclaim that they can adapt to anything. On top of it all, the dancer Zerbinetta charms her way to the composer, and we sense a reconciliation between the two companies. 


Ariadne has been left at the island Naxos by her former lover Tesevs, and the three nymphs feel pity for her and her situation. Ariadne sings her sorrow, almost going mad, which Zerbinetta and Harlekin comment through their own cheerful song of grief. Ariadne has given up on Tesevs, and all she does is to wait for Hermes to bring her soul to the land of the dead. 

The comedy troupe tries to cheer her up with song and dance, but with no luck. Zerbinetta on the other hand will not give up. She sings to Ariadne about the falsehood of men, but also of how she keeps falling for one man after the other. "Like a God they all came towards me", she sings, and believes that Ariadne must try to meet a new man. In an interlude we observe the four men of the troupe, and how they are fighting to win over Zerbinetta - where Harlekin is the winner amongst them. 

The three nymphs sing of a God to come, and as Ariadne hears the voice of a man come closer, she believes it must be Hermes, and that she may finally die. Yet the God she meets is Bacchus - who has just escaped from the sorcerer Circe. Circe seduced him and tried to turn him into a pig, but as Bacchus is a half god, he could not be changed into an animal. 

Ariadne and Bacchus fall in love, and through their new passion they both are changed. Bacchus becomes a full God, and Ariadne is reborn through the enormous transformative powers of love. 

Watch: A shortcut to Ariadne auf Naxos - an opera about an opera! 
(english subtitles under "settings")

Presentation of the cast:

PRIMADONNA/ARIADNE: Lise Davidsen. Despite her young age, the Norwegian singer has already made a name for herself as one of the most promising lyric dramatic-sopranos of her generation. The Summer of 2015 she won both Operalia and The Queen Sonja Int. Music Competition, and was a runner up in the Belvedere Competition. She will make her debut in the role of Ariadne with the Arctic Opera, before singing the role again in Glyndebourne later the same season.

TENOR/BACCHUS: The Norwegian tenor, Thomas Ruud, well known in Germany and in Scandinavia, will make his debut in the role of Bacchus.

ZERBINETTA: It is a pleasure to welcome the fabulous soprano Sara Hershkowitz to work with us for the first time. With her recent success as the three ladies in «Hoffmann» in Wuppertal, we couldn’t be more excited!

KOMPONIST: The Norwegian mezzo soprano, Adrian Angelico, will debut in the role as the Composer. He has made himself internationally noticed through singing taxing repertoar in Bregenz as well as Covent Garden, and he sang the lead in The Arctic Opera’s modern opera «Nora-too late» by Chinese composer Du Wei and Norwegian author Jon Fosse. The opera was performed in China in 2014 and in Norway in 2015.