Further, the Composer's music and ideas bear a strong resemblance to those of Wagner. The librettist, Hofmannstahl, probably intended this idealistic and grave character to be a parody of Wagner. Interestingly, though, I think this is only a half-hearted parody, as the music of Ariadne and Bacchus is so beautiful and entrancing, utterly Wagnerian.
Strauss and Hofmannstahl have one foot in burlesque, and the other firmly planted in the romantic world. It is as if the two artists couldn't make up their minds about what opera should be, serious or merely entertaining. The compromise they worked out, surprisingly, is very effective, and the two plots run along in parallel very nicely.
This opera offers something for everyone, slapstick comedy as well as serious mythological themes.