June 30, 2012 at 22:02 PM EDT
The Santa Fe Opera Presents Romantic Comedy 'Arabella' Saturday, July 28 in Santa Fe, New Mexico
'Arabella', an opera by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, last seen on the Santa Fe Opera stage five years ago, begins a five performance run at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 28, 2012. The story line is as follows: Love... Lust... Mistaken Identity... and a Fateful Glass of Water. Parents caught in a bad economy resort to deception to maintain respectability. Will their ruse spoil their daughters' chances of happiness in love? The answer comes down to a single glass of water in Arabella, a sumptuous romantic comedy with an element of social commentary, as Richard Strauss returns to the Crosby Theatre after an absence of five years. Arabella charms with Strauss' deft characterizations and soaring vocal lines -- especially soprano voices. Erin Wall, who sang the four heroines in the 2010 Tales of Hoffmann and Daphne in 2007, sings the title role, with Heidi Stober as her sister Zdenka. Sir Andrew Davis conducts. 'Arabella' is a featured event on Santa Fe visitor guide SantaFe.com.
Composed by Richard Strauss
As Arabella returns from a stroll and dismisses her eager escort, it's clear she is sought by many other suitors. Three -- Counts Elemer, Dominik and Lamoral -- have left gifts for her. Zdenka, who secretly loves Matteo, urges her to consider him, but Arabella feels that when the right candidate appears, she'll know. Count Elemer calls on Arabella to go sleigh riding; as she leaves to change her outfit, she alerts Zdenka to a stranger peering up from the street below. Their father, Count Waldner, returns, upset by his many creditors and continuing bad luck at cards. But no sooner has he told his wife of his latest stratagem -- sending a letter and photo of Arabella to his wealthy old army buddy Mandryka -- than a caller also named Mandryka is announced. Nephew of the elder, deceased Mandryka, he read the letter and fell in love with Arabella's photograph. Now he has journeyed from his rich estates in Slavonia to the Waldners' hotel suite in Vienna solely to lend Count Waldner money and seek his daughter's hand in marriage.
Unaware of this bright new prospect, Arabella is despondent, wondering why no suitor seems right; perhaps the Coachman's Ball that evening will brighten her mood. She leaves with Zdenka for their sleigh ride.
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