A New
Musical Tragedy

The Crown of Ariadne History
By Ted Sikora

After "Nothing Like Vaudeville," Kurt and I contributed some music to a new production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”  Having only added five songs to a pre-existing score, I, for one, left the production feeling a bit unfulfilled.  Kurt, who had begun working steadily on the rock-dance project CAT 5, suggested a Greek Mythology adaptation. That sounded plenty good to me.  

I recruited long time friend Tim Poe to write the libretto, and we began trying to figure out which myth we wanted to adapt.  We settled on Ariadne because she’s historically been the ultimate supporting character:  Daughter of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae, Childhood sweetheart of Icarus, Lover of Theseus, Wife of Dionysus, and Half-sister of the Minotaur. Certainly she deserved to have the story told from her point of view. Tim started working on the libretto, and I took to the music and lyrics. 

After about eight months of writing, I was contacted by the director of Lyric Opera Cleveland, Gary Briggle.  He had heard about "Nothing Like Vaudeville" and wanted to discuss the possibilities of staging that show.  When Gary found out about the Ariadne project, he graciously offered to help us develop it.  Gary put us in touch with many of Cleveland's finest opera singers, and the recorded demo became stronger with each passing month.

In February of '98 we finished the show and titled it "The Crown of Ariadne." Gary was slating to add both Ariadne and Nothing Like Vaudeville to the 2000 and 2001 seasons at Lyric Opera Cleveland.  All was good with the world.

In the meantime, we submitted Ariadne to our most trusted independent theatre mavin  James Levin of Cleveland Public Theatre.  Upon reviewing our demo, Mr. Levin kindly offered us a workshop-staged reading of the piece which subsequently took place on May 10th of '98. The performance was directed by Kevin McDermott, and the cast featured Hilerie Klein as Ariadne, and Jimmy Helms as Dionysus.

The reading did reveal many areas that needed retooling, and that retooling took another six months.  During that same six months Gary Briggle and Lyric Opera Cleveland parted ways, which meant our shows were kicked off the Lyric Opera slate.

At about the same time, Derek Mason contacted me with interest in putting on Nothing Like Vaudeville in Daytona. That production went into development; and Ariadne was placed onto the back burner where it stayed for the past several years. Man, time flies. 

Until now with the re-launched of www.swingingcane.com, The Crown of Ariadne has never really been pushed... So here's to hoping someone reads this and wants to throw their hat in the Ariadne ring.  


 

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