Opera Scotland

Ariadne on Naxos 1950Glyndebourne Opera

Read more about the opera Ariadne auf Naxos

This rare staging of the original version of Ariadne was one of the Festival's great successes and remained a talking point for years.

The loss of the Prologue, with its wonderfully musical role for the young Composer, as well as the Music and Dancing Masters and the supercilious acting part of the Major-Domo - not to mention comic opportunities for the other characters - may be a pity. But the original concept works extremely well.


In this instance, the veteran comic actor Miles Malleson prepared the translation as well as playing Monsieur Jourdain, the wealthy arriviste who pays for the show.

Other actors included Tatiana Lieven as Dorimène and David King-Wood as Dorante, as well as Dandy Nichols (Mme Jourdain), Ilona Ference (Nicoline), Wensley Pithey (Music Master), John Ebdon (Composer), Graham Stark (Dancing Master), Roger Tully (Wig-maker), Harold Scott (Prof of Philosophy), Peter Copley (Fencing Master), David Ashley (Fencing Master's Assistant), Norman Welsh (1st Flunkey) and Alan Gordon (2nd Flunkey). Several of these would become household names in the ensuing years.

The ballet was under the direction of another national treasure, Marie Rambert.

Sir Thomas Beecham had conducted the British premiere of this version of Ariadne in London in 1913, in a translation by Somerset Maugham with Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Jourdain. He was a legendary conductor of Strauss's work.


This cast is taken from a programme in NLS collection.

There were nine performances of Ariadne auf Naxos, and nine of Marriage of Figaro. What an amazing time for opera fans...

Performance Cast

Tenor Bacchus in the opera

Peter Anders

Zerbinetta a comedian

Ilse Hollweg

Prima Donna Ariadne in the opera

Hilde Zadek

Harlequin a comedian

Douglas Craig

Scaramuccio a comedian

Alexander Young

Brighella a comedian

Murray Dickie

Truffaldino a comedian

Bruce Dargavel

Naiad a nymph

Maureen Springer

Dryad a nymph

Marjorie Thomas

Echo a nymph

April Cantelo

Performance DatesAriadne on Naxos 1950

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.00 23 Aug, 19.00 25 Aug, 19.00 29 Aug, 19.00 31 Aug, 19.00 2 Sep, 19.00 4 Sep, 19.00 6 Sep, 19.00 8 Sep, 19.00

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