The opera "Arabella" was the last work written by the creative team of
Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It was given its premiere in
Dresden on 1 July 1933 under the direction of Clemens Krauss. Hofmannsthal
wrote that the lead role is "a mature and beautiful young woman who has
looked too deeply into certain facts of life, and is a little scarred by
cynicism and resignation." The "mature" Arabella is played by Gundula
Janowitz, who, in addition to her lovely singing, gives an inspired acting
performance. As Mandryka, Bernd Weikl is an ideal partner, a man whose
passion is constantly on the verge of breaking social conventions.
Outstanding are Edita Gruberova and Martha Mödl in their minor roles. The
Vienna Philharmonic is conducted by Sir Georg Solti.