June 2011

The 2012-2013 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin opera houses in 2012-2013 - a preview

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The 2012-2013 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin opera houses in 2012-2013 - a preview

By Heiko Schon, translated by Andrej Huesener

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

November 2012 sees Daniel Barenboim's 70th birthday - could that be the reason why he is limiting his appearances to the Ring and a few concerts in 2012-13? Some have complained in the past that Barenboim conducts fewer operas than he should. But his opera appearances in Berlin have never been as rare as in 2012-13. Just a few months ago, in February 2012, he showed with The Marriage of Figaro that he can do more than just conduct Wagner premieres. What else does Artistic Director Jürgen Flimm have in store for the new season?

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The Cassiers/Barenboim Ring cycle continues on 3 October 2012 with Siegfried. The cast includes Lance Ryan (Siegfried), Juha Uusitalo (Wanderer), Peter Bronder (Mime), amongst others.
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On 24 November 2012, Hans Neuenfels will debut at the Staatsoper with Mozart's La finta giardiniera, designed by Reinhard von der Thannen and conducted by Christopher Moulds. Neuenfels's wife Elisabeth Trissenaar will also be part of the Schillertheater production.
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From 3 March 2013, experience the final Ring instalment: Die Götterdämmerung. Waltraud Meier will sing Waltraute and 2nd Norn, Iréne Theorin is Brünnhilde. Three complete Ring cycles are scheduled for March and April 2013.
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Greetings down the road to the Deutsche Oper: Philipp Stölzl's production of Fliegender Holländer (Conductor: Daniel Harding), first seen in Basle and commissioned by Basle's then Director of Opera, Dietmar Schwarz (now Artistic Director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin), premieres in Berlin on 28 April 2013.
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Coming up next starting on 25 May 2013, Frank Martin's Le Vin Herbé, an oratorio based on the Tristan und Isolde legend, staged by Katie Mitchell. Conductor: Franck Ollu.
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16 June 2013 sees the premiere of a new work by composer Helmut Oehring, based on Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen and directed by Claus Guth, with Michael Boder conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Academy of Ancient Music Berlin.
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The last new production of the season (22 June 2013) is co-produced with the Ruhrtriennale. Catalan director Calixto Bieito and conductor Günther Albers will present Toshio Hosokawa's Hanjo, originally commissioned by Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
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The Werkstatt will present five new pieces, with two new productions in the "Junge Staatsoper" series. Revival highlights include Pavol Breslik as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte: 9, 16, 18 November 2012), René Pape as Philipp II (Don Carlo: October and November 2012), Veronique Gens as Agathe (Der Freischütz: January and April 2013) and Plácido Domingo as Parsifal (Act 3 in concert on 13 February 2013). Other highlights include Andris Nelsons conducting the revival of La Bohème (December 2012) und the Staatskapelle's 3rd season concert (5/6 November 2012) under Alan Gilbert, Chief Conductor of the New York Philharmonic.



Komische Oper

Starting Over, Part I: Barrie Kosky, new Artistic Director, wants to bring more fun and amusement (i.e. more operetta) to the Komische Oper Berlin. Mr. Kosky has a point and thinks that Verdi, Wagner, R. Strauss and Puccini are well served by the other two big Berlin opera houses. Hence no new productions of these gentlemen's works at the Komische Oper—rightly so. Kosky also, for the first time, does away with the decade-old Felsenstein tradition of singing only in German. So what are the Komische Oper's plans for 2012-13?

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From 16 September 2012, the Komische Oper presents Monteverdi's complete trilogy of Orfeo, Ulisse and Poppea in one evening. Producer Kosky calls the event a spectacle; with a running time of 12 hours it's more like a marathon. No need to fear exhaustion though: the three pieces will also be performed individually.
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In Olga Neuwirth's world premiere of American Lulu, Alban Berg's Lulu is African-American and sings in English. Acts I and II have been reworked, Act III is completely new. American Lulu is on from 30 September 2012, conducted by Johannes Kalitzke and directed/designed by Kirill Serebrennikov.
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What, another Magic Flute? Co-directors Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade, new Music Director Henrik Nánási and the British theatre troupe "1927" unveil their take starting on 25 November 2012. Julia Novikova is the Queen of the Night.
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Tchaikowsky's Mazeppa, on the other hand, is hardly ever staged in Germany. From 24 February 2013, the Komische Oper will present the work in the original Russian under the baton of Henrik Nánási, in a new production by Ivo van Hove.
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Reinhard von der Thannen, long-time collaborator of Hans Neuenfels, will design and stage a new production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel from 24 March 2013. New chief conductor Kristiina Poska will conduct the Komische Oper orchestra; in the role of the Witch Fredrika Brillembourg and Ursula Hesse von den Steinen alternate.
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19 May 2013 sees the world premiere of Detlev Glanert's new two-part science-fiction opera Solaris. The internationally renowned directing team of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier will stage their debut production at Komische Oper Berlin; Markus Stenz, Music Director at the Cologne Opera, will conduct the work commissioned by the Bregenzer Festspiele.
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Ball im Savoy, a Paul Abraham operetta, will be Barrie Kosky's last production of the season. Adam Benzwi conducts, with Klaus Grünberg designing the set and lighting, Esther Bialas the costumes, Otto Pichler as choereographer and—seriously—Helmut Baumann playing Mustapha. So where's Dagmar Manzel? Worry not, she'll also join the party. From 9 June 2013.
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But that's not all. Two operettas in concert (Emmerich Kálmán's Bajadere on 23 December 2012 and Kurt Weill's Kuhhandel on 18 and 22 January 2013), a children's opera (Taner Akyol's Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves from 28 October 2012), a week dedicated to Kurt Weill (18 - 24 January 2013, including concerts with Ute Lemper and Gisela May), a May of works by Mozart (1 - 27 May 2013) and the well-established Festival initiated by Andreas Homoki showing all new productions over the course of a few weeks (28 June - 7 July 2013) will be served as well. Enjoy!



Deutsche Oper

Starting Over, Part II: The Deutsche Oper also has a new Artistic Director, Dietmar Schwarz. The season brochures and leaflets have been given a lemony colour refresh; a second stage, the Tischlerei, will open to the public. The predecessor building, Deutsches Opernhaus Berlin, was inaugurated in 1912, so the anniversary season 2012-13 will celebrate 100 years of Deutsche Oper Berlin.

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The first season highlight is Helmut Lachenmann's Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern from 15 September 2012. Lothar Zagrosek will conduct the production staged by David Hermann.
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Philipp Stölzl follows up his controversial production of Rienzi with another Wagner work, Parsifal, from 21 October 2012. The cast includes Markus Brück (Amfortas), Albert Pesendorfer (Titurel), Robert Holl (Gurnemanz), Klaus Florian Vogt (Parsifal), Bastiaan Everink (Klingsor) and Evelyn Herlitzius (Kundry). Donald Runnicles, the Deutsche Oper's Music Director, will conduct the Deutsche Oper Orchestra.
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The next highlight, from 9 December 2012, is Robert Carsen's new production of Sergej Prokofiev's The Love of the Three Oranges, designed by Paul Steinberg with costumes by Buki Shiff. Steven Sloane conducts.
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David Alden staged Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes at the English National Opera in London in 2009. The Deutsche Oper Berlin will show this production from 25 January 2013, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
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From 21 April 2013, it's goodbye to Hans Neuenfels' classic Rigoletto and hello to a new Rigoletto produced by Jan Bosse. The cast includes David Lomeli (Duke of Mantua), Andrzej Dobber (Rigoletto), and Lucy Crowe (Gilda), conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado.
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What else is on offer? A gala concert celebrating the Deutsche Oper's 100th anniversary (20 December 2012), a new Young Opera project titled Der Ring: Next Generation (from 10 March 2013), five operas in concert (Lucrezia Borgia with Edita Gruberova on 27 April and 1 May 2013 / Attila with Erwin Schrott on 19 and 21 June 2013 / Der fliegende Holländer in the original version on 27 May 2013 / Le Vaisseau fantôme, ou Le maudit des mers by Pierre-Louis Dietsch on 4 June 2013 / Les pêcheurs de perles with Mariusz Kwiecień on 5 June 2013), as well as seven premieres for the Tischlerei complete the season programme.
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The repertory also showcase the talents of world-class singers: Elīna Garanča (Didon / Les Troyens / 21, 24 February, 1 March 2013), Alex Esposito (Leporello / Don Giovanni / 17, 19, 24, 30 January 2013), Anja Harteros (Tosca / 17, 23, 28 February 2013), Bryn Terfel (Scarpia / Tosca / 9, 26 January 2013) und Peter Seiffert (Otello / 27 February, 2, 6 March 2013 / Tannhäuser 16, 22 December 2012; 24, 30 March 2013), amongst others. Two complete Ring des Nibelungen cycles have already been announced for the 2013-14 season.



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