July 2007

The 2007/2008 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin operas in 2007/2008 - a preview

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The 2007/2008 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin operas in 2007/2008 - a preview

By Heiko Schon, translated by Andrej Huesener

Komische Oper

Komische Oper Berlin starts its 60th anniversary season on 23 September 2007 with a new production of the mother of all operettas, Die Fledermaus. The director will be Andreas Homoki; Markus Poschner will conduct the orchestra of Komische Oper.

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The next new production will be Paul Dessau's Die Verurteilung des Lukullus, directed by Katja Kloke with Eberhard Kloke as musical director. Die Verurteilung des Lukullus, based on a libretto by Bertolt Brecht, will premiere on 25 November 2007.
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This season's new baroque opera production is Handel's Theseus. Alessandro de Marchi (conductor) and Benedikt von Peter (director) share artistic responsibility. The production will premiere on 10 February 2008.
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Komische's new musical director Carl St. Clair will conduct his first performance at the house on 6 April 2008, when Komische will open its new production of La Bohème (director: Andreas Homoki).
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Komische Oper will end the 2007/2008 season with a bang: Barrie Kosky directs Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, conducted by Koen Schoots. The casting of Dagmar Manzel in the roles of Lilli Vanessi / Katherine is likely to make audiences flock to the opera house.
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To extend its range of operas for children, Komische Oper will show a new production of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges (conductor: Kimbo Ishii-Eto, director: Jetske Mijnssen, from 21 October 2007).
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Other works in this year's repertoire include Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck, Orest (with Charlotte Hellekant) by Handel, Land des Lächelns by Lehar, Così fan tutte by Mozart, Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart, Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach, Love of Three Oranges by Prokofiev, Madame Butterfly by Puccini, The Barber of Seville by Rossini, Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss, Eugen Onegin by Tchaikovsky, Valtinoni's Pinocchio, Rigoletto by Verdi, Weber's Freischütz and Weill's Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (with Noëmi Nadelmann).



Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Staatsoper Unter den Linden will show a record nine new productions in 2007/08, seven of which are co-productions. The first new production will be the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra (starring Maria Ricarda Wesseling, replacing the ill-disposed Magdalena Kozena) on 6 September 2007. Peter Mussbach will direct the concert opera; performances will be conducted by Michael Boder.

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Following her huge success with Dido und Aeneas, Sasha Waltz returns to the Staatsoper for another new opera production. Whether or not her choreographic approach to Pascal Dusapin's medeamaterial (conductor: Marcus Creed) will be equally popular, can be seen from 16 September 2007 onwards.
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Following his Monteverdi cycle, baroque expert René Jacobs will now focus on Georg Philipp Telemann. Together with Nigel Lowery und Amir Hosseinpour as directors, Jacobs will conduct Der geduldige Sokrates from 29 September 2007.
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Fresh from the Scala in Milan, Peter Mussbach's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni will transfer to Staatsoper from 15 December 2007, with René Pape as Don Giovanni, Annette Dasch as Donna Elvira and Daniel Barenboim conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin.
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Directors Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, renowned for their stagings for Oper Stuttgart, will debut at the Staatsoper with a new production of Verdi's A Masked Ball on 20 January 2008. Catherine Naglestad will sing the role of Amelia; Principal Guest Conductor Philippe Jordan will conduct the production.
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Following his production of Boris Godunov, Dmitri Tcherniakov returns to Staatsoper for a new production of Prokoviev's The Gambler, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The Gambler will be performed only twice, during the Berliner Festtage on 15 and 23 March 2008.
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Director Christof Nel, who triumphed at Komische Oper with Weber's Der Freischütz and scandalised audiences at Deutsche Oper with his take on Fidelio, completes his round of all the Berlin houses with a new production of Handel's Belshazzar at Staatsoper. René Jacobs will conduct the new production from 1 June 2008.
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And another familiar name returns to Berlin: David Alden (who directed both Tamerlano and Alcina for Komische Oper) stages Gioachino Rossini's dramma buffo Il turco in Italia, starring soprano Christine Schäfer and conductor Constantinos Carydis, from 22 June 2008.
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The premiere of the new project Monkey Journey to the West by Chen Shi-Zeng has been moved to July 2008, as the production and its rehearsals are taking longer than planned. Damon Albarn (Music) and Jamie Hewlett (visual concept/animation), founders of the Gorillaz project, share musical responsibility.
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Season highlights at Staatsoper include performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in March and Pelléas et Melisande in April 2008, with René Pape giving his role debut as Hans Sachs under Barenboim (Meistersinger) and Sir Simon Rattle conducting for the first time at Staatsoper (Pelléas et Melisande).



Deutsche Oper

Following a season catering predominantly for more progressive tastes with works by Alberto Franchetti and Alexander von Zemlinsky, Artistic Director Kirsten Harms will focus in 2007/2008 on core repertoire. Deutsche Oper Berlin urgently needs a hit following a series of flops; whether the new productions can provide a success remains to be seen. Deutsche Oper's Head Director Alexander von Pfeil has no new stagings in the pipeline. Kirsten Harms herself will take over directing honours for the first premiere of the season, which will combine the one-act opera Cassandra (by Vittorio Gnecchi) with Elektra (Richard Strauss). Opening night is 3 November 2007; Leopold Hager will conduct the orchestra of Deutsche Oper.

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The second new production will follow suit on 30 November 2007. Eugen d'Alberts Tiefland, which has recently been staged by a number of big houses, will be produced by Roland Schwab, his second production at Deutsche Oper following the Mozart-Fragmente. Yves Abel conducts.
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He loves Rossini more than anything, and the audience at Deutsche Oper adores him in return: Alberto Zedda. The star conductor will present a concert performance of La donna del lago on 7, 9 and 12 December 2007, starring Antonio Siragusa as King of Scotland.
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The 2 March 2008 will see a new production of Verdi's Aida. Deutsche Oper's Musical Director Renato Palumbo and director Christopher Alden will share responsibility for the fourth season premiere.
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Following his "scandalous" productions of Parsifal at Bayreuth and Der fliegende Hollander in the Amazon jungle, controversial director Christoph Schlingensief takes on another opera at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Die Szenen aus dem Leben der heiligen Johanna will receive its staged world premiere on 27 April 2008; Ulf Schirmer will conduct Walter Braunfels' opera.
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Deutsche Oper begins its new cycle of Wagner productions with a new staging of Der fliegende Holländer, directed by Tatjana Gürbaca and conducted by Renato Palumbo. Ricarda Merbeth will sing the role of Senta; Johan Reuther can be seen as the Holländer from 8 June 2008.
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The final production of the season prior to the summer break is George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, conducted by Willie Waters and directed by Angelo Gobbato. Performance dates are 4 July 2008 to 1 August 2008.
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Star turns at Deutsche Oper in the 2007/2008 season include Anja Harteros (La Bohème, June 2008), Marcelo Alvarez (Tosca, 28/31 October 2007), Elina Garanca (Der Rosenkavalier, 15/19/23 March 2008), Patrizia Ciofi (Rigoletto, 4/22 March 2008, 19 April 2008) and Robert Holl (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, 2/10/16 February 2008). Der Ring des Nibelungen in Götz Friedrich's legendary production will also be shown with a high-calibre cast including Stephen Gould (Siegfried, 10 January 2008) und Matti Salminen (Götterdämmerung, 12 January 2008). Anna Netrebko will debut at Deutsche Oper in November 2007 in La Traviata. Tickets have - of course - already sold out.



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