Ryan Wigglesworth - conductor (Prologue to Ariadne auf Naxos/WITCH)
Elizabeth Kenny - musical director (Lamento d’Arianna)
Polly Graham - director
Monteverdi - Lamento d’Arianna
Strauss - Prologue to Ariadne auf Naxos
Freya Waley-Cohen - WITCH (world premiere)
This triple bill centres around stories of women. Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna and the bustling Prologue to Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos both look at the story of Ariadne – who was abandoned by Theseus on Naxos – but from very different perspectives. Monteverdi’s searing vocal writing takes us to the heart of Ariadne’s pain and anger, while Strauss and librettist Hofmannsthal dance around the story with a meta-theatrical narrative. WITCH, a newly commissioned opera by Freya Waley-Cohen with a libretto by Ruth Mariner, inspired by the occult poetry of Rebecca Tamás, offers two interwoven narratives that reclaim the idea of female agency and desire. This is a magical realist coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of the historical horror of what it has meant to be a woman fighting for power and freedom.