Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos), Op. 60, is an opera by
Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Bringing together slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful
music, the opera's theme is the competition between high and low
art for the public's attention. Music critic and author Matt Dobkin
wrote that, while Ariadne auf Naxos is "not as well loved as Der
Rosenkavalier or as important as Salome, it is nevertheless staged
all the time, thanks in large part to sopranos' attraction to the
vocal and dramatic grandeur of the title role and to the compelling
spitfire Zerbinetta character." Besides the opera, Strauss provided
incidental music to be performed during the play. In the end, the
opera occupied ninety minutes, and the performance of play plus
opera occupied over six hours. It was first performed at the
Hoftheater, Stuttgart, on October 25, 1912. This 1969 recording
stars Gundula Janowitz and James King. Rudolf Kempe conducts.