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Ariadne auf Naxos

Richard Strauss

Premiere performances: 19 and 21 January 2024 at the Estates Theatre

The Estates Theatre
Premiere production
English surtitles

Choose date

    June 2024

    Sunday 23. 6.

    Tickets available

    Premiere production
    English surtitles

    Basic information


    The Estates Theatre

    Approximate running time

    2 hours 30 minutes, 1 intermission (20 minutes) minutes


    In German, surtitles in Czech, English


    January 19, 2024

    The principal theme of Ariadne auf Naxos is the competition and respect between “high” and “low” art.


    • 2023-2024
    • 2024-2025


    Stage direction and Choreography
    Sláva Daubnerová
    Costume design
    Tereza Kopecká
    Light design
    Daniel Tesař
    Movement coach
    Jan Adam
    Ondřej Hučín


    National Theatre Orchestra
    National Theatre Opera Ballet

    In the early 20th century, Richard Strauss shocked theatre-goers with two one-act operas, Salome and Elektra, that to an unprecedented degree conveyed heightened emotions by means of wild, ear-splitting musical expression, reaching sonic extremities. Yet the composer subsequently decided to change the style and make a conciliatory step towards opera audiences. First he wrote Der Rosenkavalier, a still widely popular piece, in which, however, the quintessential Straussian bustle both in the orchestra and on the stage still predominates, followed by the far more intimate and far more serene Ariadne auf Naxos. The latter’s original version, dating from 1912, was conceived as a postlude to Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, but in 1916 Strauss revised it into the form of an independent opera, in which it is most frequently performed today. Even though not anyhow indicated by the title, the principal theme of Ariadne auf Naxos is the competition and respect between “high” and “low” art. What is more, Strauss also reveals the timeless boorishness of those who, aiming to improve their poor cultural status, resolve to become “patrons of the arts”.

    The spectators of Strauss’s piece have a choice – like when switching between television channels, for a while they watch a serious opera about Ariadne, abandoned by her lover, and for a while a low-brow farce about the frolicsome Zerbinetta. Thus was the decision taken by the wealthy host of the bizarre performance, which cannot run a millisecond  longer than scheduled, as art will be followed by fireworks and supper … 

    Strauss’s “comedy/tragedy” is returning to the National Theatre in Prague after 45 years, this time as staged by the Slovak director Sláva Daubnerová, who has previously created for us several acclaimed adaptations of operas, including of Leoš Janáček’s The Excursions of Mr. Brouček and Rodion Shchedrin’s Lolita.


    Aridne auf Naxos synopsis

    Photo and video gallery


    Our e-shop

    Goods detail

    Programme Ariadne auf Naxos

    A booklet for the opera production Ariadne auf Naxos

    90 Kč

    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. We are currently selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika taking place in JuneNovember 2024.

    When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Parking at the Estates Theatre

    Unfortunately, there is no parking near The Estates Theater. You can use the guarded parking lot in the Kotva shopping center (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1) and Paladium (Na Poříčí 1079 / 3a, Prague 1).

    Buffets at the Estates Theater

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

    Menu (PDF, 60 kB)