Opera in three acts

Composer Richard Strauss · Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
In German with English and German surtitles

Wednesday, 13. January 2016
07:00 pm – 10:15 pm

Duration est. 3 hours 15 minutes · 1. Akt (est. 07:00 pm - 08:00 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:00 pm - 08:35 pm ) · 2. Akt + 3. Akt (est. 08:35 pm - 10:00 pm )

Prices L , € - /- /- /- /- /- /- /11

Premiere at 06. July 2015

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Musikalische Leitung
Constantin Trinks
Andreas Dresen
Mathias Fischer-Dieskau
Sabine Greunig
Michael Bauer
Rainer Karlitschek
Sören Eckhoff

Graf Waldner
Kurt Rydl
Doris Soffel
Anja Harteros
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller
Thomas J. Mayer
Joseph Kaiser
Graf Elemer
Dean Power
Graf Dominik
Andrea Borghini
Graf Lamoral
Tareq Nazmi
Die Fiakermilli
Erin Morley
Eine Kartenaufschlägerin
Heike Grötzinger
Ein Zimmerkellner
Johannes Kammler
Bastian Beyer
Vedran Lovric
Tjark Bernau
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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"But the right one," sings Arabella: Only him will she give her love. And the hope of meeting him "in this world" and experiencing precisely that is the central theme of today's concepts of love. Arabella, urged by her family to enter a lucrative marriage of convenience, insists on the idea of pure love and insists on it as if it were the last bastion of her self-preservation in relation to an environment in which everything goes awry. And the librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and his composer, Richard Strauss, dare to do it. Arabella's wish is fulfilled, the man of her dreams, Mandryka, appears. But not even this ideal couple enter into marriage unscathed since one thing in Arabella's dream is not fulfilled: " ... and there will be no doubts and no questions."


The Waldner family is on the verge of ruin, their fortunes are at a low ebb: Graf Theodor, the father, is a gambler and loses the last of their money at cards, his wife, Adelaide, pawns the last of the family jewels to have her fortune told. With their debtors breathing down their necks they have already moved into a hotel. The younger daughter, Zdenka, can only appear in public as Zdenko , wearing boys‘ clothes, as there is not enough money to pay for two daughters to be introduced into society in a manner befitting their rank. The family’s only hope in this situation lies in their beautiful daughter Arabella, who must marry a rich man. She has enough admirers, Graf Elemer, Graf Dominik and Graf Lamoral for example, all of whom are competing for Arabella’s favour. Matteo, an officer, also thinks his chances are  good as he has received a letter from Arabella. What he does not know is that the letter was actually written by  Zdenka. She is in love with Matteo, but in her guise as Zdenko can only play the role of best friend and supporter of Matteo in his role as potential suitor for Arabella. Arabella knows that she must soon choose one of her suitors, if possible on the evening of the impending Fiaker ball, although she has not given up hope that the right man will turn up there and make all her doubts  disappear. Only that morning she has seen a gentleman whose appearance has left a strong impression. This stranger turns out to be a very wealthy gentleman, Mandryka, whose uncle and namesake is a former comrade of Graf Waldner from a Slovenian regiment to whom, speculating about the old friend‘s wealth, he has written a letter containing a picture of his daughter, thinking the nephew might be a potential son-in-law, without knowing that his old friend is in fact already dead. Mandryka, however, has fallen in love with the picture and sets out in search of the Waldner family. Graf Waldner is delighted and has no hesitation in promising  Mandryka his daughter’s hand in marriage. He plans  to introduce them at the ball.

Arabella and Mandryka meet for the first time at the ball. They are immediately attracted to each other and become engaged without further ado. Arabella wants to say goodbye to her three suitors, who have her crowned queen of the ball by Fiaker Milli. Matteo, on the other hand, exerts pressure on his friend Zdenko, who then hands him the key to Arabella’s room and informs him that he can have a tête-à-tête there with his sister. Mandryka overhears this conversation and thinks that Arabella has been unfaithful. Shocked by such outrageous behaviour, Mandryka flirts with Fiaker Milli. Arabella’s parents, however, are sure that the misunderstanding can be  quickly resolved.

Meanwhile Zdenka has spent the night, unrecognised, with Matteo. He cannot, therefore, understand why Arabella, with whom he thinks he has just been making love in her room, is so cold and heartless when they meet on the stairs of the hotel. Mandryka considers Matteo’s reactions to be proof of Arabella’s guilt and wants to break off their engagement. As Arabella insists that she is innocent, Graf Waldner challenges Mandryka to a dual. Only when Zdenka appears in women’s clothing is the misunderstanding cleared up, whereupon Mandryka arranges the engagement of Zdenka to the completely confused Matteo in order to save her honour. Everything is now in order as far as her parents are concerned, the scandal has been averted. Mandryka, ashamed of his outbursts of anger and accusations against Arabella, believes he has lost all claim to her affections. Arabella, however, after retiring to her room for a while, agrees, to his great surprise, to marry him.

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Constantin Trinks war von 2006 bis 2009 Generalmusikdirektor am Staatstheater Saarbrücken und von 2009 bis 2012 in gleicher Funktion am Staatstheater Darmstadt, wo er u. a. Der Ring des Nibelungen, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Parsifal, Fidelio und die postume Uraufführung von Carl Orffs Gisei – Das Opfer dirigierte. Seither dirigierte er am Neuen Nationaltheater Tokio (u. a. Don Giovanni) sowie an der Semperoper Dresden (u. a. Der Rosenkavalier und Jaromír Weinbergers Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer), der Opéra national de Paris, der Wiener Staatsoper, dem Theater an der Wien und der Deutschen Oper Berlin (Tannhäuser). Weitere Engagements führten ihn u. a. nach Seattle, Straßburg, Zürich, Rom, Leipzig, Hamburg, Frankfurt a. M. und zu den Bayreuther Festspielen. (Stand: 2019)

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