Strauss's Arabella

Christof Loy (stage director), David Afkham (conductor) — With Jacquelyn Wagner (Arabella), Sarah Defrise (Zdenka), Martin Winkler (Count Waldner)...

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Christof Loy — Stage director

Herbert Murauer — Costume designer, stage design

Reinhard Traub — Lighting

Thomas Wilhelm — Choreographer

Jacquelyn Wagner — Arabella

Sarah Defrise — Zdenka

Martin Winkler — Waldner Count

Anne Sofie von Otter — Adelaide

Josef Wagner — Mandryka

Matthew Newlin — Matteo

Dean Power — Elemer Count

Roger Smeets — Dominik Count

Tyler Zimmerman — Lamoral Count

Elena Sancho Pereg — The fiakermilli

Barbara Zechmeister — The card shooter

José Manuel Montero — Zimmerkellner

Program notes

Don't miss an exceptional staging of Arabella—the first ever in Madrid! Jacquelyn Wagner and Sarah Defrise bring a heartfelt and genuine rapport to the stage, a sisterly bond that forms the cornerstone of an excellent stage production—from the mise en scène by Christof Loy to the direction of David Afkham, every finely wrought detail enchances the drama and enjoyment of a timeless comic opera.

It has been said that Arabella is an opera that reflects the personality of its composer, Richard Strauss—with characters who are at once extremely idealistic, direct, dramatic, and yet lighthearted. Its comedy and levity—sometimes derided by critics—may, however, belie the fraught political backdrop that gave rise to its creation: Arabella premiered in 1933, five months after Hitler’s rise to power. Misunderstandings and plot twists, mistaken identities, and a final-act double wedding may reflect a desire for a happy ending on the part of the composer, aging and worn down by the turmoils of his era.

Worried about the future of her family, Countess Adelaide (the great Anne Sofie von Otter) consults a fortune teller to find out if her daughter Arabella will enter into a prosperous marriage and restore the her family's former high standing. But the tarot cards predict some complications—perhaps at the hand of Zdenka, Arabella's younger sister, whose machinations en travesti threaten to ruin the happy nuptials…    

Photo © Teatro Real

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