Premieres of the 2019/20 season at the Semperoper Dresden

The Light of Modernity from the Sparks of Tradition

(lifePR) ( Dresden, )
In Peter Theiler’s second season as Managing Director, the Semperoper Dresden is presenting 33 repertoire pieces and eleven premieres in the fields of opera and ballet. Our guests in the 2019/20 season can look forward to seven major new opera productions, two premieres in our Semper Zwei venue and two ballet premieres, including no fewer than four Dresden premieres. The operatic world premieres include the Prologue to “Don Carlo” composed by Manfred Trojahn and “Die andere Frau” by Torsten Rasch, which has been specially commissioned by the Semperoper. Ballet fans can enjoy David Dawson’s new choreography “Vier letzte Lieder”, inspired by the music of Richard Strauss.

Opera premieres

Gioachino Rossini’s dramma giocoso “Il viaggio a Reims/The Journey to Reims” launches our series of premieres. Here director Laura Scozzi updates the narrative, placing the action in today’s European Parliament. Calixto Bieito, whose highly acclaimed staging of “Moses and Aron” in 2018 inaugurated Peter Theiler’s first season as Managing Director, interprets György Ligeti’s extraordinary and devastating doomsday scenario “Le Grand Macabre”, which will be performed under the baton of Omer Meir Wellber, the Principal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper. This co-production with the Teatro Real Madrid will travel to Spain following the premiere in Dresden.

The upcoming programme also features Josef E. Köpplinger’s star-studded production of “The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein”, an opéra buffe by Jacques Offenbach that satirizes political double-dealing in a backwater duchy. Anne Schwanewilms, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Strauss, will return to the Semperoper stage for this operetta as the Duchess with a weakness for soldiers. Under conductor Jonathan Darlington, she is joined by Daniel Prohaska, a member of the “Neue Wiener Vocalensemble”, as Prince Paul. Other premiere productions include Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” in a co-production with the Tokyo Nikkai Opera Foundation and Det Kongelige Teater of Copenhagen. In this staging by Amon Miyamoto, the cast includes Hrachuhí Bassénz as Cio-Cio-san, Christa Mayer as Suzuki and Freddie de Tommaso as B.F. Pinkerton, all performing under the baton of Lorenzo Viotti from Switzerland, a shooting star in the world of conducting. The costumes are the work of Japanese star designer Kenzō Takada, founder of the fashion label Kenzo. For the world premiere of Torsten Rasch’s musical chamber play “Die andere Frau”, commissioned by the Semperoper for large orchestra, director Immo Karaman forces the audience into an entirely new physical and mental perspective by means of his innovative staging. The libretto by the writer Helmut Krausser makes use of early Babylonian text fragments, which are incorporated into the composition and interpreted by the Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim.

Two new productions that have been co-produced with the Salzburg Easter Festival will enjoy their premieres in Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Star soprano Anna Netrebko will make her debut in the role of Elisabetta when she appears in Vera Nemirova’s staging of “Don Carlo”. Joining her in Verdi’s great work are the Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov in the title role and the brilliant Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Filippo II. Commissioned by the Salzburg Easter Festival and the Semperoper Dresden, Manfred Trojahn has composed a Prologue to complement the four-act Italian version. And Jens-Daniel Herzog will stage a new version of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, co-produced with the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and the New National Theatre, Tokyo. The cast of singers includes Georg Zeppenfeld, Adrian Eröd and Klaus Florian Vogt.

Visitors to our Semper Zwei venue can also look forward to two new productions: The chamber opera “Der goldene Drache” by Peter Eötvös in the production by Barbora Horáková Joly, for which Petr Popelka will conduct musicians of the Staatskapelle Dresden, as well as Mischa Spoliansky’s “Wie werde ich reich und glücklich?” staged by Manfred Weiß and conducted by Max Renne.

Ballet premieres

Semperoper Ballett has a unique opportunity to perform a choreography by Pina Bausch, namely “Iphigenie auf Tauris”, after the Pina Bausch Foundation agreed, for the first time, to entrust this dance-opera to an ensemble outside the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Here Jonathan Darlington will make his conducting debut with Semperoper Ballett from the rostrum of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

The audience of the ballet evening “Vier letzte Lieder” can look forward to a very special premiere. 70 years after the death of Richard Strauss, his music is now freely available for dance performance. Hence, for the first time the beautiful “Four Last Songs” can be enjoyed as a choreography when David Dawson translates Strauss’s vocal work into dance. The ballet evening also features George Balanchine’s piece “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” from 1972 and “Kleines Requiem” from 1996 by the Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen. Principal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper, Omer Meir Wellber, will interpret the score. This will also be his first collaboration with the Semperoper Ballett.

In the coming season Semperoper Ballett once again explores the full gamut of dance, from classical narrative ballets such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “Don Quixote” by Aaron S. Watkin to modern interpretations of dramas such as “Carmen” by Johan Inger and “Giselle” by David Dawson to the abstract dance of the 20th and 21st centuries in the ballet evening “Labyrinth”, featuring the work of George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Ohad Naharin and Joseph Hernandez. And from Christmas to January “The Nutcracker” will be on the programme of Semperoper Ballett.

Dialogue and discussion

The Semperoper offers a space for discussion and education for all interested parties by means of symposia on selected programme highlights as well as the SemperDialog series.

To underline the importance of the historical theme “30 years of Peaceful Revolution”, Saxon State Theatres is organizing a number of special events, including a commemorative performance of Christine Mielitz’s famous staging of “Fidelio” by Beethoven at the Semperoper Dresden on 11 October 2019.
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