Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) is an opera by Richard Strauss with German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It was first performed at the Hoftheater, Stuttgart, on October 25, 1912. The revised version was first performed at the Hofoper, Vienna, on October 4, 1916. It is mainly a reworking of the Greek myth of Ariadne and Bacchus.
The opera is set in the home of 'the richest man in Vienna'. Two groups of musicians have arrived: one a burlesque group, the other an opera company. The first part of the opera is set backstage and concerns the preparations for performance, which are thrown into confusion when the Major-domo announces that both performances must take place at the same time.
After an interval the major part of the work begins. Ariadne is shown abandoned by Theseus on Naxos, bewailing her fate. At this point Zerbinetta and her four companions from the burlesque group appear. They attempt to cheer Ariadne, but without success. In a sustained and dazzling piece of coloratura singing Zerbinetta insists that the simplest way to get over a broken heart is to find another man.
The nymphs Naiad and Dryad then announce the arrival of Bacchus on the island. He falls instantly in love with Ariadne and promises to set her in the heavens as a constellation.