Semperoper Dresden Announces Programme for 2018/19 Season

Semperoper Dresden Announces Programme for 2018/19 Season

»Tradition and innovation«: Managing Director Peter Theiler presents the programme for his first season at the Semperoper Dresden; twelve premieres, repertoire and lieder recitals with brilliant artists; Omer Meir Wellber appointed as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper.

Dresden, 22 February 2018. Preservation and renewal are the bywords of the 2018/19 season at the Semperoper Dresden. Peter Theiler's eagerly awaited arrival as Managing Director of the Semperoper Dresden ends the six-year interim period under the artistic direction of Wolfgang Rothe as Acting Managing Director, who will continue to be responsible for the commercial management of Saxon State Theatres. Well versed in the organizational structures of the theatrical world, Peter Theiler from Switzerland underlines his pleasure at continuing the friendly cooperation with Wolfgang Rothe in a constructive spirit while building on the successful results of past years.

Under the motto »Living Memory and Contemporary Vitality«, Peter Theiler will work together with a team of seasoned and new colleagues to set a new course for the Semperoper. In addition to deepening the regional identification with the Semperoper as a supraregional cultural institution, the declared aim of the new Managing Director is to enlarge the focus to include a stronger global profile. This means an intensive cultivation and promotion of the ensemble and standard repertoire, which are steeped in tradition, as well as strengthening ties with internationally sought-after artists and renowned guest soloists. In order to raise and safeguard the international renown of the Semperoper, it will be vital to present new discoveries and promote young talents in the coming years.

This symbiosis of continuity and innovation is reflected in leading figures at the Semperoper: The institution's internationally acclaimed musical reputation is closely aligned to that of Christian Thielemann, Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. In 2018, the Semperoper is appointing the world-renowned conductor Omer Meir Wellber, who made his debut in Dresden in 2010 and has subsequently been responsible for numerous outstanding productions, as its Principal Guest Conductor. Alongside Aaron S. Watkin, Director of Semperoper Ballett for the past twelve years, and Manfred Weiß, Artistic Director of Semper Zwei and Head of Education, the artistic management team includes Johann Casimir Eule, who is moving from Nuremberg to Dresden as Head Dramaturg and Deputy Managing Director.

The programme for the 2018/19 season clearly displays the artistic signature of the new Managing Director: »With this programme I intend to take a stand on socially relevant issues. Music theatre is not only a form of spiritual recreation; it must also make a contribution to the debate on our contemporary values«, says Peter Theiler. In this spirit, and after three years of intensive preparation, the first season under his directorship promises an interesting mix of exceptional new productions and successful repertoire pieces featuring star performers.

The new season opens on 29 September 2018 with a new production of Arnold Schönberg's central work »Moses und Aron«, directed by the visually inventive Catalan Calixto Bieito. With this unique opera, Schönberg created something truly revolutionary and challenging, both musically and programmatically. Under the baton of Alan Gilbert, two world-class singers, Sir John Tomlinson and Lance Ryan, will perform the title roles on the Semperoper stage.

The next premiere will be Richard Strauss's »Ariadne auf Naxos« in December, staged by David Hermann and conducted by Christian Thielemann. This is a co-production with the Opéra national de Lorraine (Nancy) and the Opéra de Lausanne.

Audiences will have their first chance to enjoy the keen eye of internationally acclaimed director Mariame Clément when she stages Bed?ich Smetana's comic opera »The Bartered Bride« at the Semperoper in March 2019. Slovakian star tenor Pavol Breslik will appear in his first new production at the Semperoper in the role of Hans, while Tomáš Netopil will conduct the Staatskapelle Dresden.

The figure of »Platée« is one of the outstanding tenor roles of French Baroque opera. For the first time Dresden audiences can enjoy this story of the unhappy nymph, conceived as a ballet-opera, in a new production by the opera star Rolando Villazón opening in April 2019. Conductor Paul Agnew has previously sung the title role countless times on stage. Philippe Talbot, who has already performed the title role in Paris, is now coming to Dresden.

One real highlight of the list of premieres for 2018/19 will certainly be the performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera »Nabucco« in May 2019 under the baton of new Principal Guest Conductor Omer Meir Wellber. Plácido Domingo will sing the title role in the performances on 5, 9 and 15 June 2019 in the production by David Bösch, who debuted in Dresden last year with his acclaimed staging of Korngold's »Die tote Stadt«.

The opera season at the Semperoper Dresden will close in June 2019 with Giacomo Meyerbeer's »Les Huguenots« conducted by Alexander Vedernikov. Director Peter Konwitschny returns to Dresden with his production of this central work of Grand opéra.

The Semper Zwei venue is hosting the premiere of »Satyricon« in October 2018 as well as the German-language premiere of »4.48 Psychosis« in April 2019.

Created in cooperation with the Salzburg Easter Festival and the Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti - Modena, Georg Schmiedleitner's staging of the chamber opera »Satyricon« by Bruno Maderna offers a bitter and disturbing view of a »high society« devoured by selfishness and cynicism. Pietro Borgonovo will conduct.

English composer Philip Venables based his first full-length opera »4.48 Psychosis« on the final work of the same name by playwright Sarah Kane. For the German-language version to be premiered at the Semperoper, Venables has adapted a translation by Dresden poet Durs Grünbein.

Also in Semper Zwei, Jacques Offenbach's darkly humorous operetta »Chief Abendwind«, staged by Artistic Director Manfred Weiß, will be premiered as part of our Semperoper Junge Szene programme. Under the baton of Thomas Leo Cadenbach, Director of the Junges Ensemble, a cannibalistic dinner brings a small but fine island society into a sticky situation.

Repertoire pieces and returning productions in the upcoming season will feature the usual glittering array of stars, including popular ensemble members and internationally acclaimed artists such as Angela Gheorghiu, Anja Harteros, Anja Kampe, Marlis Petersen, Pavol Breslik, Michael Volle, Thomas Hampson and Vitalij Kowaljow.

Under the artistic direction of Ballet Director Aaron S. Watkin, Semperoper Ballett has grown into an internationally renowned company whose success is reflected in numerous international tours and guest performances. The programme for 2018/19 includes three exciting new choreographies, beginning in November 2018 with the four-part ballet evening »Labyrinth«, featuring the work of George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Ohad Naharin and Joseph Hernandez.

In January 2019, the company of Semperoper Ballett will interpret »Carmen« by the Swedish choreographer Johan Inger. Awarded the 2016 Prix Benois de la Danse, this work looks at the familiar tragedy of love from the innocent perspective of a child.

Ballet Master Raphaël Coumes-Marquet came up with the idea and outline for a new interpretation of Lewis Carroll's stories about little Alice, which transports the audience of the Semperoper Junge Szene into a wonderland of dance: The world premiere of »Alice - A Journey to Wonderland« in June 2019 in Semper Zwei gives young members of the company the chance to develop their own choreographies.

Amongst the wide-ranging repertoire for the 2018/19 season, audiences can look forward to »COW«, which won the German theatre award DER FAUST in 2016. This smash hit by the Swedish »iconoclast« Alexander Ekman will now enjoy its hotly anticipated return.

The ceaseless artistic vitality, ambition and amazing productivity of Semperoper Dresden is confirmed by nearly 400 performances, twelve premieres, including three ballet productions and two premieres of the Semperoper Junge Szene as well as more than 30 pieces of repertoire in all genres. In addition, the Staatskapelle Dresden will perform 50 concerts, to be presented in a separate programme.

At the beginning of Peter Theiler's tenure as Managing Director, the Semperoper has also revamped its media design. This new look can be enjoyed for the first time in the annual programme. From this year, one artist will be commissioned each season to develop artistic motifs for the individual premieres. The first of these profiles has been created by photographer Andreas Mühe for the 2018/19 season. He has developed an exclusive series of images, some newly shot in Dresden, to provide the Semperoper Dresden with a unique and unconventional perspective on the season's premieres. Volkswagen AG has supported the production of the motifs created in Dresden.

Ticket sales for the 2018/19 season will begin at 10 a.m. on 13 March 2018.

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