Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s three »Da Ponte« operas from 15 to 18 April 2022 under the baton of Omer Meir Wellber
A series of events in the framework of »1,700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany«
Information about cancelled performances, hygiene rules, ticket returns, and more
»Great Expectations« is one of Charles Dickens’s most famous novels. It describes the lives of the orphan Pip and the adopted daughter Estella, who, after many trials and tribulations – and against all the odds – finally find happiness with one another. Originally intending to bring the tale to a tragic conclusion, Dickens’s subsequent choice of a happy ending was sharply criticised by George Bernard Shaw. For myself, I cannot agree with this judgement. A belief in happy ends can be such a positive force, one that keeps our spirits up even in the darkest times. And where, if not in the arts, can, may and must we believe in the search for truth and for goodness?
For the 2021/22 season, we not only have some great expectations but also a great deal planned! The pandemic-induced break in our programme means that we are now going to perform previously cancelled productions as additional premieres. Therefore, you can look forward to a total of 15 new opera and ballet productions.
This season, Aaron S. Watkin looks back on 15 years as director of Semperoper Ballett, which he will celebrate with two premieres: first, with the multi-part work »A Collection of Short Stories«, featuring choreographies by William Forsythe, Aaron S. Watkin, David Dawson, Jorma Elo and Nicholas Palmquist. Then, in the summer of 2022, Johan Inger will bring us his second full-length choreography, »Peer Gynt«. These not only represent groundbreaking works of contemporary dance and ballet; some of the choreographers have enjoyed a close relationship with the Semperoper Ballett for many years, which Aaron S. Watkin has been able to develop through his intelligent programming. Happy Birthday and many thanks!
In the field of opera, we open and close the season with two productions by Peter Konwitschny, namely Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece, »Norma«, which will be the first new staging of this opera in the Semperoper since 1904, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s political satire »The Nose« from 1930. In between, you can expect a varied programme of premieres: internationally sought-after director Damiano Michieletto will stage Gioachino Rossini’s »La Cenerentola« in his first production for the Semperoper; equally new to Dresden audiences is the work of Immo Karaman, who will stage the world premiere of Torsten Rasch’s opera »Die andere Frau«. Katharina Thalbach will direct Giuseppe Verdi’s immortal late opera »Aida«, a work that has been missing from our programme for many years. Christian Thielemann will conduct this opera for the first time, ably supported by a star-studded vocal ensemble. And you can finally enjoy the postponed productions of »Don Carlo« (a co-production with the Salzburg Easter Festival), directed by Vera Nemirova as well as »Madama Butterfly« (produced in cooperation with Tokyo and Copenhagen) in the staging by Japan’s leading opera director, Amon Miyamoto, here introducing himself to Semperoper audiences. Together with the recently deceased star designer Kenzō Takada, Miyamoto has developed his own unique take on this story of intercultural tension and misunderstanding. The internationally beloved, multi-prizewinning director, Christof Loy, debuts at the Semperoper with his highly acclaimed and psychologically penetrating staging of Antonín Dvořák’s »Rusalka« – a co-production with the Teatro Real Madrid.
In Semper Zwei we are presenting a total of five productions, including the German premiere of Luciano Chailly’s setting of the classic absurdist play »The Bald Soprano« by Eugène Ionesco, here directed by Barbora Horáková, and Udo Zimmermann’s chamber opera »Weiße Rose«, directed by Stephan Grögler. Young audiences can look forward to new musical theatre in the form of Zad Moultaka’s »Three Lousy, Nasty Guys«, staged by the young director Annika Nitsch, while Manfred Weiß’s adaptations of the »Blues Brothers« as well as Stephen Sondheim’s profoundly funny musical fairy-tale parody »Into the Woods« will together provide a great mix of upbeat tempos, blues and wit.
Looking back, I would like to thank all of you who have remained so wonderfully loyal to us over many difficult months; and, of course, I’m truly grateful to all our staff for their perseverance and unflagging efforts to ensure that we can once again offer you, dear audience members, a rich and varied programme. My very special thanks go to our technical director, Jan Seeger, who as coronavirus officer has tirelessly translated the changing regulations into practical hygiene concepts.
Looking forward to the new season with much anticipation, we also consider ourselves fortunate that yet another world-class artist, in this case photographer Thomas Ruff, has agreed to provide us with a selection of motifs for this booklet as well as to publicise our premieres.
I can promise you an entertaining and busy 2021/22 season… with a happy end guaranteed!
Yours, Peter Theiler
Artistic Director of the Saxon State Opera Dresden