"Ariadne auf Naxos" (Lyric Opera): Seriously Playful, Playfully Serious!

I’ve gone back to my old high school to see a musical.  It was uncomfortable. After regularly seeing full-blown Chicago-based extravaganzas, the hometown version made me feel self-conscious and snobby.  I was uneasy when my friend, the director, eagerly asked me what I thought of the car.  I bit back the clarification, ‘the crappy cardboard cut-out?‘ And went with ‘the red color was a nice choice.‘  What can I say?  I try never to compare a small theatre’s production to a seasoned theatre’s spectacle. Until 16. Amber Wagner, Brandon Jovanovich, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, DBR_1834 c. Dan Restnow…

The Lyric Opera of Chicago presentsAriadne auf Naxos, opera in a prologue and one act in German.  The prologue opens backstage and below stage of an opera house. The *composer* has written a dramatic opera.  His show is to be directly followed by a light comedy, ‘Zerbinetta and Her Four Lovers.’  The young composer is outraged.  But before he can get use to the idea of being the opening act for a vaudevillian headliner, the sponsor changes the plan.  The shows will be performed together.  Even though the comedy troupe is ready to improv into the drama, the composer wants out.  Zerbinetta uses her acting abilities to convince him to mount the show.  He relents.  The one-act opera compromises as a diva-esque drama with a side of slapstick.  Ariadne auf Naxos collides two genres in amusement.

Check out the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.


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