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  • Writer's pictureJacob

Ariadne Auf Naxos at Three Bridges Festival.

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

This spring saw the first intensive learning programme at Three Bridges Festival in Scotland. It was hugely gratifying to see the fruits of the hard work that our organising team put in to present a comprehensive week of music, language, classics and cultural history surrounding Richard Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos. But, it was made even more fulfilling by our international participant base who travelled from the UK, Europe and US to participate in an immersive, holistic exploration of the central themes of the Opera.

During the course of the work, I was pleased to oversee all musical aspects of the week alongside our inimitable accompanist Ailsa Aitkenhead who delivered two extraordinary masterclasses on collaborative music making. Our participants reflected that the week was wholesome, and highly conducive to developing their individual interpretations of the roles presented without fear of reprimand.

We were engrossed in the world of Strauss and Hoffmanstal from day one, but they were made all the more captivating through the eyes of Jolanda Grijpstra and Jamie Whitfield who presented talks of the ancient greek origins of the story and the context in which the work was conceived; most notably the story of Theseus and the Minataur, the central themes of stasis vs transformation, and the Vienese Secession.

Although I enjoyed working with each of our participants at the festival equally, I am especially proud of my students at Zualski School of Voice for their involvement. Between them representing 2 Echos and Driades, a Naiade, Truffuldin and Ariadne herself.

Three Bridges will return with another full programme next year!

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