Subtitles prepared by human
Welcome to the Edinburgh International Festival At Home, presented in partnership with abrdn. Here we offer you performances by some of the best artists at the 2021 Festival. We are thrilled to have returned to live performance in front of our audiences. To achieve this, we designed bespoke outdoor venues and reconfigured the layouts of some of Edinburgh’s best loved theatres. The resilience of the International Festival has been made possible by the loyalty and friendship of our stakeholders, of our donors, and of our audiences. From all of us, to all of you, thank you. In the following film, we present, Richard Strauss' Ariadne Auf Naxos, in a concert performance at the Edinburgh Academy. Ariadne comes in two parts, you have the Prologue, and that is where there's been an announcement that there has been a double booking for the evening. So there is an opera going to be going on, as well as a dance troupe and in the end they realise that the only way of being able to satisfy everybody, is to have both of those things going on at the same time.
For me, one of my favourite moments in this opera is, the composer's Aria. How could I not say that? But it is an extraordinary outpouring of how wonderful music is and how uplifting and inspirational it is. It's done with so much humour and the music is heartbreakingly beautiful. Master Major Domo! I have been looking for you! How can I help you? Please note, I'm pressed for time. The preperations for tonight's performance at the house of Vienna's wealthiest man... as I may surely call my master... Just one word! I've just heard something I find hard to understand. What might that be? - It disturbs me greatly. - Can you get to the point?
Tonight, on the occasion of this grand soirée in this Palais, after the Opera Seria of my student, - would you believe it - another so-called musical piece is to be performed, a kind of musical show or some lowly Italian Opera Buffa! That can not be! Why ever not? How come? - It must not! - Beg your pardon? The composer will not stand for it! Who will stand for what? No one other than my master - whose Palais we are currently in - has any say of what stands and what doesn't! It is not what was agreed. Ariadne was composed specially for this evening.
And the agreed fee, and a gratiuity shall be swiftly delivered to you! I do not doubt a rich man's ability to pay! And you have the honour of performing your music for him. Anything else? This composition is a serious work which demands adequate conditions. Nevertheless, it's entirely up to my Master (summo et unico loco!) as to what kind of entertainment he would like for his guests at his banquet. So he chose the opera Ariadne to aid in the guests' digestion? Your opera will come first, then fireworks at 9pm,
and then the Opera buffa. Now if I may excuse myself... How shall I break this to my pupil? Miss Zerbinetta is in here, sir. She is changing, I'll knock. Enough, go to the devil! That is the language of passion with dishonourable intent! My friend, call the violins! We need to rehearse a few changes. Violins can't walk, as they don't have feet! And anyway, they are busy! I meant the players! Ah! Well, they are where I would also rather be...
... instead of talking to you. Where's that? At the table. Now? 15 minutes before the start? I meant they are at his lordship's table, not at the musician's table. What do you mean? Playing for supper. Capito? So you can't see them now. Then I'll rehearse Ariadne's aria with the Demoiselle. She isn't in here, and she who is, is not available. Do you know who I am? I can speak to my singers if I wish to! Insolent, stupid donkey! That donkey leaves me alone in front of this door..
...and leaves!? I want to make so many changes at this eleventh hour... Oh the donkey! ... Oh joy! Almighty God! My poor trembling heart, almighty God! Could I make Bacchus see that he is a God!? And not a clown dressed in a panther's fur! This must be his door. Oh you child, you mighty God!
This wig for Bacchus! I should wear this...?! I won't put a rag on Bacchus' head! My esteemed friend, just one word... His bad behaviour must stem from some inherited madness in his family! My esteemed friend... How dare you doubt my handicraft? Would you have a piece of paper? I need to write down an idea... Sorry, I can't help you. We are on after the opera, it'll be hard work to make them laugh, after they've been bored out of their wits! Or...do you think I will succeed? Quick, send me a lackey! I must speak to his lordship.
You can not enter, she is having her hair done. Who is this girl? You'll have no problem, the opera is boring! - Does it matter who she is? - The piece is incomprehensible... ... and my left shoe knows more melodies than the entire Ariadne on Naxos! Who is this charming girl? Good, that you like her... She is Miss Zerbinetta. She will sing and dance in the comedy after your opera. After my opera? A comedy? Dancing and crude jokes to be staged after my opera? - Tell me! - I beg you... When all of life's wisdom shall be revealed to them here...
and then they order a monkey's dance to drive out from their imbecile brains any trace of a sublime eternal message? - Oh, I'm a fool. - Calm down! I will not calm down! A comedy for dessert! A swift return to meanness. This uncultured rabble wish to build a bridge from my world to theirs! O Maecenas! This will poison my soul for ever! I shall never compose a melody again! This world is too cruel for the melodic wings of music! Although just now I thought of a good tune!
I was fighting with a servant when it came to me! The tenor was about to punch the wig maker, and there it was! A feeling of love, sweet and simple, full of innocence and trust, unfit for this world! "Venus, you give sweet release for our pain and longing..." "La, la, my young heart..." " and all my sorrows and pining!" "Oh, you youthful child, you almighty God!"
Do you have some manuscript paper? My companions and trusty partners, bring me my mirror, my rouge, my powder! You knew all the time! My friend, I am thirty years older than you, and have learnt to get along in life. A man who'd do that to me, was never a friend! Have you sent for the Count? And who is this rabble? They want to throw us together with them? Do they not know who I am? How could he..? If their piece is so boring, we should go first before they get in a bad mood!
Once they've been bored, it will be harder to cheer them up. Just the opposite! After dinner, one is tired and weary, ... one tries to have a snooze, then claps politely to wake up! And then, they are awake and wondering what's next! "The faithless Zerbinetta and her four lovers?" "A jolly comedy with catchy melodies!" "A simple plot, easy to follow" You know what you're getting. "That's more like it," they say and wake up. And as they head home, they remember nothing except that they say the incredible Zerbinetta dancing!
Do not get worked up about nothing. Ariadne is why they have all come here tonight, all these connoisseurs and music lovers have come here to hear it. Ariadne is the word in everyone's mouth. You are Ariadne! And tomorrow no one will remember that there even was another show. The dinner has ended. We should hurry. To your places, ladies and gentlemen. I must pass on an urgent message from the Count...
We are ready. Ariadne can begin in three minutes. His lordship has changed his mind. Not the opera first? What is that? Pardon me, where's the Ballet master? I have a task for you both. How can I be of service? The Count wishes to make more changes to the programme... So late in the day? That is preposterous! He would like to see the following changes: The finale shall be the prologue, we will start with Zerbinetta... Then Ariadne. It makes a lot of sense. Beg your pardon. There will be no prologue or finale -
Both pieces are to be performed simultaneously. Simultaneously? What? Is he demented? You take us for fools? Has everyone gone mad? I must speak to the Count now! I have been very clear. How you wish to realise it is up to you. Up to us? My Master believes such outstanding artists as yourselves should have no problems making these trifling changes to the programme... It is his desire that both pieces should be performed, including all the music and all the characters, - exactly as he ordered and paid for - simultaneously on stage. - Why simultaenously? - I'd better hurry!
So that the performance ends promptly, because the fireworks are scheduled for exactly 9pm. How on earth does his lordship think this is to be done? A voice prophesized this when I was in my cradle... You cannot expect my master, who is paying all this money to concern himself with matters of implementation! My master is used to seeing his orders carried out. Moreover, his lordship has been greatly displeased that in this grand house you wish to set a play on a deserted, barren island and so it occurred to him to remedy this error
by populating this desert island with characters from the other show! A sensible suggestion. A desert island is very bleak. Ariadne on Naxos is the symbol of human solitude! That's why she needs company! Only the sea around her... ... rocks, trees, and a mocking echo. If she meets another human, my music becomes senseless. But the audience will enjoy it! As it is now, they'll fall asleep! Pardon me, please hurry, the guests will be taking their seats.
My poor head. If I had just two hours to come up with something. Why waste your thought on such human meanness? Let's go! What do we have to lose? What we have to lose? The fifty ducats, on which you intended to live the next six months. How I despise this world! Why should I live in it? I don't quite see... why you would make such a fuss over a sensible suggestion. - You really think it's doable? - No trouble at all!
The opera has endless interludes - we'll cut them! These people are good at improvising... Shh, if he hears us he'll kill himself. Ask him whether he'd prefer to hear his opera slightly altered or not at all. Give him pen and paper! We must save the opera! Better to burn it! Hundreds of great composers whom we admire had to bring much greater sacrifices at their first performances. Are you sure? Is that so? Should I then? Must I?
Make sure he makes lots of cuts. I'll fetch Zerbinetta. I'll give her a plot outline, she is brilliant at improvising, she always plays herself so she feels at home in any scene. The others know her well, so it will all go swimmingly. You must shorten Ariadne's part! Make sure he cuts from Bacchus! It's unbearable! Psst, Yours will remain unaltered. I can't stand his (her) wailing! Psst, he will cut two of her arias, and not a note from you! Ssh, he will cut Bacchus' role by half! - Ariadne has frun away with Theseus... ...whose life she'd saved earlier. - That rarely ends well. - Theseus tires of her... ... and leaves her behind on a desert island.
- Cut this, too! - Naughty Theseus! Ariadne, in her sorrow, yearns for Death. They say Death, but really she yearns for a new lover. Which is exactly what happens. No, it is not! She is a lady who will only belong to one man in this lifetime! Never more until death! - But Death won't come! Quite the opposite, right? I'm guessing a pale, dark-eyed youth like you! Exactly. The youthful God Bacchus. It's obvious from the start. And now she's got what she needs!
She thinks he is the God of Death. In her soul she believes him to be Death, and only because of this... That's what she wants you to think! ... only for this, she enters his ship. She thinks she is dying...? No! She is actually dying! Tut, tut, You have a lot to learn from the likes of me. She is not like you. I know that she will die.
Ariadne is one of a million, a woman who never forgets. You fool. Now look, we are performing in "Ariadne on Naxos." It goes like this: A princess has been left by her prince... her next admirer hasn't appeared yet, the setting is a desert island. We are a jolly company who just happen to be on this island. Take my cue and we'll find an opportunity to go on stage and join the performance. She surrenders to Death...
She is no more. She's been swept away. She abandons herself to the mystery of transformation. She is born again... and is resurrected in his arms! Then he becomes a God! What else could transform a man than such a momentous embrace? Courage! Common sense will prevail. The piece lived and breathed just as it was! And if I join in, I would spoil it?
I will not live through this shameful hour! You'll survive many more, believe me. What are you trying to tell me, in such a moment? One moment is nothing, but a glance is all. Many think they know me, but their eyes are blind. On stage, I play the coquettes,
who says that my heart is in it? I seem cheerful, and yet I am sad. They think I am jolly, and yet I am lonely. Sweet, mysterious girl! Silly girl, you mean. Who sometimes dreams of The One, whom she could be faithful to,
until the end! Who may that man be that you long for... you are like me! Nothing earthly within your soul! You speak what I feel. I must go. Will you forget this one brief moment?
Can we forget such a moment in all eternity? To your places, ladies and gents! Ariadne, Zerbinetta, Scaramuccio, Harlekin! To the stage, please! Me, on stage with common people? Who do you take me for? I implore you, do it for your old teacher! Get this creature off the stage or I'll not answer for myself. What better opportunity than on this stage, to show how far superior you are?
Superior? Ha! There are worlds separating us. Show these worlds in your performance and they will lie at your feet. Let's be friends again. I see things differently now. The depths of our existence are immeasurable! My friend, some things in this world can not be put into words. Although poets sometimes come up with good words... And yet... And yet... I have courage in me, friend!
The world is wonderful, and holds no fear for the couragious. What is music? Music is a holy Art, that brings together all forms of courage, like Cherubim guarding a radiant throne! And therefore it is the holiest of art forms! Most holy music! What's that? Where to?
These stupid creatures! Trampling all over my holy realm! But you agreed! I should never have done so. You should have stopped me from agreeing! Who made you drag me here into this world? Let me starve or freeze to death, turn me to stone! Is she asleep? No, she is weeping. Weeping in her sleep. Hear her moaning! She is weeping in her sleep.
Alas, we are used to seeing her thus. Day by day in numb sorrow, Ever renewing her bitter lament. Fevers shake her, A wounded heart forever Forever unreconciled. We are used to her thus,
like the soft rippling waves, like the gentle whispering leaves, like the soft rippling waves, like the gentle whispering leaves, her pain gently lulls us. Her tears, her lamentations, for days now no longer perturb our peace. like the soft rippling waves, like the gentle whispering leaves,
her pain gently lulls us. Ah! Where was I? Dead? Or still among the living? This is not a life I am living. Oh, shattered heart, must you keep on beating?
What was it that I dreamed? Alas, I've forgotten. My mind forgets everything. Only shadows passing through shadows. Yet something rises up and hurts me so! Ah! How young and fair she is, how great her sorrow! She seems like a child, yet sorrow darkens her eyes.
Comforting her, I fear, will be very difficult. A thing of beauty was Theseus-Ariadne. Surrounded by sunlight and rejoiced in life!
A thing of beauty... Ariadne... Theseus...! Surrounded by sunlight and rejoiced in life! Ariadne... Theseus... why do I know of that? I want to forget! Yet I must find this one...
It is a shame to be this shattered... I must rouse myself. Yes, I must find the girl I once was! I have it! Gods, let me not forget again! Not the name, it has become entwined with another, all things are so easily lost to others... Woe! Ariadne!
Not again! She dwells here all alone, Her breath is light, her step is light, no blade of grass moves when she walks, her sleep is pure, her senses are clear, her heart is as pure as water. She tends to herself, for soon dawn will break,
when she will wrap herself in her mantle, cover her face in a shroud and lie there in peace, like the dead. I fear great grief has troubled her mind. - Try soothe her with music? - She is certainly mad. Mad, but wise, yes.
I know what Goodness is, when it is denied a poor heart. Let us try a little song! Love and hate and hope and pain - all this a heart endures time and again! But to feel nothing, neither pain nor joy - will surely kill your heart, may you not be so!
You must rise up from darkness even if that means new pain, you must live this life you have, as you may not live again. She will not even lift her head. It is all in vain. I knew it while singing. - She has really affected you! - No one has ever moved me so. - You are like that with every girl. - And you with every boy? There is a land where all is pure,
it has a name: The Realm of the Dead. Nothing is pure here, here all is tainted. Soon a messenger will come, named Hermes. With his wand he rules over souls, hurrying them on like birds or fallen leaves. You gentle, silent God! Ariadne awaits. Ah, cleanse this heart from all its pain and sorrow.
Then your face will greet me, your step outside my cave, my eyes will darken as you gently touch my heart. In the ceremonial dress my mother gave me, my limbs will be lain, and this cave shall be my grave. And silently my soul will follow its new master,
like a leaf in the wind, it follows gladly. Darkness shall descend upon my eyes and my heart, these limbs will remain, adorned and all alone. You will release me, return me to myself, take this burden of life away. You will release me from this burden of life!
I will lose myself to you, Ariadne shall be yours. Ariadne shall be yours. This lady is too very sad it makes her weary head quite mad. Whatever pain one may have seen time shall heal all that has been. It's well known that love brings pain but all this suffering is in vain.
Let us cheer this maiden up, sing and dance and dry her eyes. Let us dance and sing and dry her beautiful eyes! See them dancing, I could really fancy one of them! Let us cheer this maiden up, sing and dance and dry her eyes. See them dancing, I could really fancy one of them. But alas the lady closes her eyes, shuts her ears.
Stop it, leave it, you are only making it worse. We are trying to cheer up this sad, beautiful lady! Stop it, you are only making it worse. But, alas, our dancing and our singing all our attempts to cheer her are in vain. So stop your dancing, stop your singing! Most gracious princess, we know well that the grief and pain of noble persons such as you can not be measured like that of mere mortals.
Yet, are we not both women, do our hearts not beat in the same mysterious ways? To speak of our frailty and to confess it - is it not bitter-sweet? Do we not yearn for it? You will not listen to me, fair and proud you stay silent, like a statue marking your tomb.
Will you confide in no one but these rocks and the waves? Princess, hear me, not you alone, every woman has had her heart broken, none of us has been spared. Abandoned! In despair! Outcast! We have all been left on such deserted islands, I have inhabited several myself! And yet I do not curse men,
They are faithless! Shameless! A short night, a fleeting day a breath of air... One burning glance transforms their hearts! But do we stand firm against such cruel, sweet... unfathomable transformations? I may think I belong to one only, I believe I am steadfast,
yet my heart dreams of the sweet freedom of a secret new, delightful love. I may be true now, and yet it is a lie, I may be true and yet I am already false, the truths we tell are based on falsehoods, and half knowing, half dreaming, I betray him. I betray him at last, I betray him at last, yet love him still.
It was like that with Pagliazzo and Mezzetin! And Cavicchio, Burattin and Pasquariello! And at times, I think, there were even two! But it was never a fancy, it was always a longing, always a new wonder, that makes ones heart not know itself. Each one of them was a God,
his every footstep made me still and dumb! When he kissed my brow and cheeks, I was his captive, and utterly changed forever! Each one of them a God, his every footstep made me still and dumb! When he kissed my brow and mouth, I was his captive! When a new God approaches, we surrender, still and dumb! Nice sermon, but it fell on deaf ears. She and I speak different languages. Apparently so.
The question is whether she will learn mine. We'll wait and see. But we shouldn't wait for... - What do you take me for?! - A girl, with whom I'd like to rekindle... You are shameless! And so close to the Princess' room! - It's a cave! - What difference does that make? No windows! You would really dare.. Believe me, I would dare everything! To think some girls would like him for it! And you are exactly like them! Men, good God! If you wanted us to resist them... why did you create them all so different?
Stop trying to console this stubborn lady, if she wants to grieve, leave her be, she is right! I'm not stubborn, just give me a nice smile, It's all I ask for to make me happy! Let me show you some pretty spots on this island! If I just had a horse and cart, this bird would be mine! While they waste their time, I'll wait and see. Always a longing, never a fancy,
but always an amazing, new wonder! I am not stubborn, I'll wait here... The girl will be mine... - Like with with Pasquariello and Mezzetin! - Let me wait and see... How he stoops himself in ardour! If I make him jealous, If she makes me jealous, I will quickly, nimbly... - See how nimbly he'll dance around me! - We will nimbly dance around her! See how nimbly we will dance around this beauty!
- The hand is mine! - The shoe mine! - The glance mine! That was the sign! The goddess will be mine! She has chosen me as hers. The goddess will be mine, she has chosen me! Where is she? Where can she be? Where is she? Where can she be? Cursed chance! But no one knows who I am. How poorly a heart knows itself! How poorly it knows itself! Ah, what a graceful creature! Those hands, those lips,
Hands and lips, mouth and hands to kiss! What magical, delightful bliss! Ai, ai, ai the thief! The wicked thief! Ah, what a graceful creature! Those hands, those lips, those lips to kiss - what magical, delightful bliss! - A miracle! - A beautiful youth! - A young God! So you know... Bacchus!
Bacchus! A young God, a handsome youth! Oh hear me, his mother died at his birth, A princess! A God's beloved! - What kind of God? - A God's beloved. Nymphs raised him. Nymphs raised the goldy child. Ah, if only it had been been us! He grows like a flame in the wind, no longer a boy, almost a man! With his wild companions he sets sail on his ship!
He is the helmsman, a courageous youth. Hail his first adventure! Hail the youth! - His first? You know what it was? - Circe. The ship lands on her island, They tread to her palace, torches aflame, She welcomes him at the door, she sets the table, she gives him food... - ...she gives him to drink, - A magic drink! Love's sweet potion.
But the youth... Haughtily she calls him to kiss her feet, but her Art is in vain, for he defies her charms. He emerges from her embrace, pale and wondering, neither bewtitched, nor taunting, a young God stands before her! Ariadne!
Is she asleep? - No, she can hear us! - A miracle! - A youth... - A God! Yesterday, the guest of Circe, dining with her and reclining... - ... drinking from her potion. - And here with us today! A God! Do you hear us, Ariadne? Circe, Circe, can you hear me? You have not harmed me, yet I fear for those that are in your power. Circe, I could flee from you,
See, I am smiling and fearless. Circe, Circe, what ill did you wish for me? He calls through my anguish, melting away my pain, a heart is calling mine. Sing on, enchanting voice, strange bird, sing on, your laments stir her heart,
entchanting all of us! Although I escaped you unconquered, what feelings are stirring in my bewildered mind? Have I drunk some poisonous herbs, like a beast in the woods? Circe, your magic failed you, but yet I am enchanted? Oh herald of Death, how sweet is your voice! You bring me peace, and warm my wounded soul.
Sing on, sweet voice, sing on! Your laments stir her heart. Your songs enchant us all. Circe, Circe, I could flee from you! Circe, you could not harm me! Circe, I could flee from you,
See, I am smiling and fearless. Circe, Circe, what ill did you wish for me? Do not oppress me with darkest rapture, oh, spare my frail soul. She, who waited for you so long, Oh, take her with you! Theseus! No, no! It is the beautiful, peaceful God!
I greet you, herald of immortals! You wonderful being, are you the goddess of this island? Is this cave your palace? Are these your attendants? Do you weave magic with your singing? You lead a stranger to a feast and pour him magic wine?
And ah, do you transform those you entice? Woe! Are you an enchantress too? Your words I do not understand. Is this perhaps a trial for me? My mind is confused from all this waiting, I live here and wait for you,
I have been waiting for nights and days Ah, I do not know how many. So you know who I am? You greeted me with my name? No, no, you are not he, my mind is confused. Who am I then? You are the captain of a dark ship on a dark journey,
I am the captain of a ship. Take me across, far from this heart's sorrows! Nothing is left in this world for me. So you wish to join me on my ship? I am ready. Why ask? You wish to test me? How will you transform me? With your hands? With your wand? Tell me, or will you give me a potion? You talked about a potion.
I spoke of a potion? I do not remember. I know this is how it is in that faraway land, Whoever goes there, forgets all at once! All words, all breath... will disappear.
You rest in peace from all your cares, for over there, no one is weak from weeping, he has forgotten all his pain, for everything is different there, I know. Am I a God, begot by a God? My mother destroyed by flames
when my father appeared in bright fire? Did Circe's magic hold no power over me, because I am immortal and balsam and aether flows through my veins? Hear me, you creature standing before me, hear me, you who wish to die, I'd sooner darken the stars in the heavens, than let you die in my arms.
Mystical words! Woe! So soon! Now there is no return. Can you bring forgetfulness in a single glance? Will all things disappear from sight? The sun? The stars? I myself? Has all my sorrow been banished forever? Ah, will all that remains of Ariadne be a sigh? I say to you, only now does life begin for you and me!
Did not the world weigh on my breast? Did you blow it all away with your breath? - May your sorrow rise as joy... - There she lay, a lowly creature - as joy in your heart and mine! - ...amongst nettles and vermin. You magician! You sorcerer! In the shadow of your mantle, are those your mother's eyes I see? Is your shadowland so blessed a place? So free from earthly longing?
Only you are free from longing, you my enchantress! So there is no crossing? Are we there now? How did it happen? Have we arrived? My cave too is transforming, above my humble bed
a holy altar appears! How wondrous your powers are. You, it is all you! I am fully transformed. A God awakens in me, to capture all your wonderful being! My limbs stir with divine rapture! The cave there, let me... transform this cavern of sorrow,
into a shelter for our rapturous joy! Is this your embrace I feel? What from me that now has vanished, did your sweet mouth take in secret? What remains of Ariadne? Let my pain not all have been in vain.
Like a God each one approaches, we surrender, still and dumb! - I have waited only for you! - Let my pain and suffering... - I am wholly transformed... - ... not have been in vain! - I have waited only for you! - With you let Ariadne stay! Your suffering has made me rich,
now my limbs tremble with rapture! I'd sooner darken the stars in the heavens, than let you die in my arms.
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