by Mike Telin
In the words of Irving Berlin, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” While that song is a subtly sarcastic tribute to an alluring life in the theater, it’s spirit is also the premise for Richard Strauss’ 1916 opera Ariadne auf Naxos which will receive three performances at Severance Hall beginning this weekend.
Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst says in a video that Ariadne is “an opera about a young composer writing an opera, and the rich man who commissioned him decides that this hot blooded young man who is just writing a tragic, profound opera, should write a comedy as well.”
Director Frederic Wake-Walker describes it as “an opera about opera. The highs and lows, the artistic dreams, and the harsh realities. It’s about a theater full of egos and eccentrics. Divine divas and clumsy clowns. Backstage intrigue and last minute rehearsals. Yet ultimately it’s about how opera is able to transcend politics and practicalities and transport us to the land of the Gods.” Click here to listen to more from Wake-Walker as well as insights from Video Content Designer Dominic Robertson. [Read more…]