This is the first comprehensive guide to Richard Strauss's Arabella. The opening chapters explore the literary background of the work, and examine the Strauss-Hofmannsthal collaboration. Arabella is seen as the culmination of specific ideas and techniques: an attempt to win something of the subtlety of the spoken theatre for the operatic stage and to find a balance between words and music. A full synopsis of the work provides an insight into the psychological motivation of the drama and an impression of the musical shape and substance of the opera. More detailed analytical comment considers Strauss's 'long-range' tonal procedures and his use of key and Motiv for characterisation, allusion and particular expressive purposes. Special features of this guide are a comentary on one of the Strauss Arabella sketchbooks and an investigation of a series of as yet unpublished letters from Strauss to Böhm, Krauss and Fanto.