March 31, 2020, 7 p.m.
«But now I have no more work to do – I’m completely burnt out! So please: write something! It could even be a second Rosenkavalier,» wrote Richard Strauss to Hugo von Hofmannsthal after completing his Ägyptische Helena in 1927. What followed was to be the last collaboration of the successful artistic team: Hofmannsthal died four days after completing the libretto for Arabella. Set in Vienna, the plot focuses on an aristocratic family threatened with decline: Count Waldner, a notorious gambler, has dissipated his family’s fortune. In order to remedy their catastrophic financial situation, Waldner and his wife Adelaide plan to marry off their stunningly beautiful elder daughter Arabella to a wealthy suitor befitting her social status. However, although surrounded by numerous admirers, Arabella does not believe that she will find the “right one” in hedonistic Vienna, where people think of nothing but waltzing. Instead, she dreams of meeting a stranger. Ultimately, her hopes are fulfilled in the person of Mandryka, who suddenly appears from Croatia. However, their profound love is already put to the test at the evening Fiaker Ball: Matteo, one of Arabella’s admirers, arouses Mandryka’s jealousy. Nonetheless, the engagement between Arabella and Mandryka does finally take place, thanks in part to Arabella’s candid sister Zdenka who, brought up as a boy, is secretly in love with Matteo. Written in times of profound social uncertainty after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a world economic crisis and the emerging Nazi catastrophe, the last idealised love match in operatic history is thus also a dance on a volcano. Arabella will be staged by the internationally celebrated director Robert Carsen, and this decadently fragile parlando opera, which is extremely virtuoso in terms of its composition, will be conducted by General Music Director Fabio Luisi. This new production will bring together a distinguished Strauss ensemble: Julia Kleiter will début as Arabella, and her sister Zdenka will be sung by Valentina Farcas. The Austrian singer Josef Wagner will introduce himself for the first time at Zurich Opera as Mandryka; and Daniel Behle, most recently heard in Zurich as Belmonte, will sing Matteo.
[Text by Opernhaus Zurich]
Kulturstelle contact: Alexander Fink email
Reserve ticketsRegistration opens on
March 1, 2020, noon