Melodrama in Edinburgh

Ariadne auf Naxos/Zaide
Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 25 August 2005]
First performed in 1775, Georg Benda’s _Ariadne auf Naxos_ is a melodrama in the most literal sense of the word — a work for actors and orchestra in which music is deployed to heighten the effect of emotional declamation. Even though posterity has tended to play its influence down, many in the late 18th and early 19th centuries rated it as both a masterpiece and a major vehicle for a tragic actress. This performance revealed it to be a work of considerable power.
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