Michael Tanner

Ariadne shows what a wonderful operetta composer Richard Strauss could have been

Michael Tanner enjoys the first of Royal Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos but slips out to escape the final duet

‘Oh, those Greeks! They knew how to live. What is required for that is to stop courageously at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore appearance… Those Greeks were superficial — out of profundity [Nietzsche’s own italics].’ Thus said Nietzsche in the preface to The Gay Science. I expect Richard Strauss knew the passage.

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