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Run time: 3hrs 00min, 1 intermission
Sung in GERMAN
Subtitles in English, German, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese
The Vienna State Opera provides a perfect setting for Strauss’s bittersweet comedy of true love and mistaken identity. Hanna-Elisabeth Müller is Arabella, the beautiful daughter of an impoverished aristocrat, who must marry well in order to rescue the family from bankruptcy. Michael Volle sings Mandryka, the landowner from the provinces who wins her love with his honesty and genuine charm in the midst of Viennese society. Jane Archibald is Zdenka, Arabella’s younger sister, whose well-meaning actions cause all kinds of misunderstandings, and Michael Laurenz sings the penniless officer Matteo, Arabella’s suitor, who realizes he is really in love with Zdenka. Sebastian Weigle conducts.
Born in Munich into a family of musicians, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) began his musical studies at the age of four, began composition studies aged 11 and in 1883 became a protégé of the conductor Hans von Bülow, who encouraged him to study the music of Wagner. Strauss’s early masterpieces include several orchestral tone poems and many songs. Around the end of the 19th century, Strauss turned his attention to opera.
Arabella was the last collaboration of Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874–1929). Hofmannsthal created “a comic opera, almost an operetta”, which related to the Rosenkavalier, without being an imitation. Hofmannsthal died under tragic circumstances before the work was completed.