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Journey between ancient Greece and a '60s mythical isle

Erik Gustafson (Brighella), Ryan C. Keller (Scaramuccio), Andrea Pitman Will (Zerbinetta) and Scott Scripps (Harlequin) in the ASU Herberger MainStage Lyric Opera Theatre production of Ariadne auf Naxos, Feb. 23-March 3, 2007.

Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy Herberger College of Fine Arts

February 01, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. – Prepare for laughter and sit right back for the journey between ancient Greece and an uncharted desert island during the ASU Herberger College MainStage Lyric Opera Theatre presentation of Ariadne auf Naxos, Feb. 23 – March 3, 2007. 

The recipe for entertainment begins with Richard Strauss’ classic German opera performed with English supertitles.  Fold in a heaping portion of comedy, a dash of drama and the recipe for opera patrons is ripe.  The show gets cooking as a serious opera and a light comedy are performed onstage simultaneously.  And the prep work doesn’t stop there.  The settings for each performance simmer to a boil in ancient Greece, where the original mythological story Ariadne auf Naxos occurred, and on a deserted isle, reminiscent of Gilligan’s Island.

“I’ve updated Strauss’ commedia dell’arte troupe to actors from a popular TV sitcom from the 1960s to better demonstrate how the two shows don’t fit together,” says Dale Dreyfoos, professor in the ASU Herberger College School of Music.  “With audiences’ familiarity with the television show’s characters, there also are many more opportunities for fun and humor.”

And don’t forget dessert – the comedy and drama works not only are executed onstage at the same time, but must conclude before a scheduled fireworks display at the home of the man who has commissioned both acts to perform. Audiences with a flavor for every genre are sure to be entertained. 

Ariadne auf Naxos contains material appropriate for ages 13 and up.  Tickets 
are $7-$22 and are available at or through the Herberger College Box Office, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, 480-965-6447.  Show times are 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3.  Performances are held in the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, ASU Tempe campus.

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by “U.S.News & World Report.” More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit