Concerts at extraordinary places


We turn some very unusual places in the opera house into performance venues. Whether the royal box in the auditorium, the understage area, a catwalk at a dizzying height above the stage, the scenery workshop or the main foyer – all these places will be filled with music and dance. We invite you to enjoy these souvenirs from the Semperoper every Thursday from 5 pm.

The series is being performed by members of the Staatskapelle, the State Opera Chorus, Semperoper Ballett as well as other Semperoper soloists. We hope you can join us!

»Bar Classics«

From Cole Porter to Paul Simon

Andrew Lloyd Webber / Tim Rice »On This Night of a Thousand Stars« 
Cole Porter »I’ve Got You Under My Skin« 
Hans Sotin »Strandperle« (Word premiere)
Paul Simon »Bridge over Troubled Water«

With Aaron Pegram (Tenor) and Alexandros Stavrakakis (Bass)
Piano Hans Sotin

At Semper:Thursday you can experience our singers in some rather unusual places in the Semperoper, for example in the curved first-floor foyer, where our audience members normally enjoy a promenade. This, however, is also the ideal location for the »bar classics« presented by tenor Aaron Pegram and bass Alexandros Stavrakakis together with pianist Hans Sotin. Enjoy some swinging sounds between the ornate pillars of the opera house ...

Nominated for an Oscar in 1937 as Best Song, Cole Porter’s »I’ve Got You Under My Skin« from the film »Born to Dance« later became immortalised in Frank Sinatra’s version from 1956. »On This Night of a Thousand Stars« comes from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical »Evita«. And Paul Simon’s »Bridge over Troubled Water« became a worldwide success as interpreted by his stage partner Art Garfunkel – and has been a great hymn of hope and consolation ever since. The programme will also feature a true world premiere: especially for Semper:Thursday, Hans Sotin, pianist and répétiteur of the Semperoper, has written a tongue-in-cheek yet wistful piece for piano, entitled »Strandperlen«, which he will perform for the first time.

»Holà! Ihr Streiter in Apoll«

La Roche’s monologue from »Capriccio« by Richard Strauss

La Roche KS Georg Zeppenfeld
Piano Johannes Wulff-Woesten

When Richard Strauss was working on his final opera, »Capriccio«, his vision was to create a light and rococo summary of his work for the stage and to explore his thinking on the meaning of opera. The result was a piece that, while finally overcoming classical traditions with its parlando-like conversational tone, plays with numerous references to the world of theatre, opera and the idiosyncrasies of its various creators.

One of the protagonists is the successful theatre director La Roche. Invited to stage a theatrical spectacle for the birthday of the Countess Madeleine, he clashes with the members of the younger creative generation, here represented by the composer Flamand and the poet Olivier. In his speech »Holà! Ihr Streiter in Apoll«, La Roche develops his vision of a truthful dramatic form that is full of life and power – and at the same time tells us the inscription that will one day stand on his gravestone. And what did Richard Strauss want from his librettist? »Theatre of the mind, brain food, dry wit!«


Peter Eötvös: »Thunder« for solo timpani (1993)

Semper:Thursday from the trap room of the Semperoper

On the third Semper:Thursday, Manuel Westermann, principal timpanist of the Dresden Staatskapelle, explores a part of the Semperoper that even orchestra musicians don’t often get to see: deep under the stage, the so-called trap room offers a novel perspective on the opera house, here helping to spotlight an instrument generally found in the background at concerts. Manuel Westermann demonstrates the virtuosic capabilities of the timpani by playing »Thunder« for solo timpani from 1993 by the Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös (composer-in-residence to the Dresden Staatskapelle in the 2018/19 season). 

The video is available from Thursday, March 11, 2021, 5 PM.