Dresden, 7 September 2023: In his final season as Artistic Director of Saxon State Opera, the programme devised by Peter Theiler continues his vision for the Semperoper laid out during his first days in office. Following the premise that » today’s music theatre, in addition to its function as a place of cultivated entertainment and education, must make a significant contribution to current debates on our social values«, the new 2023/24 season invites international audiences to Dresden to enjoy over 277 performances featuring no fewer than ten new productions – including three world premieres and one German premiere of opera, ballet and our Junge Szene programme – as well as over thirty revivals. A particular highlight will be the second outing of our »Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper«, to run over the Easter holidays 2024. This festival is a tribute to the great composer so closely associated with Dresden’s opera house.
On 7 October 2023, the Semperoper invites guests to attend its first opera premiere of the season, namely a new production of »Turandot«. Dresden’s opera house has a particular affection for this work by Puccini as it was the location for the German premiere of Fritz Busch’s adaptation only three months after the 1926 world premiere at Milan’s La Scala. In her first production for the Semperoper, cult French director Marie-Eve Signeyrole and her co-director Heiko Hentschel have transposed this powerful work about the murderous Chinese princess to a dystopian future in which the survival of the human species is decided by a frenzied media-driven competition. The Norwegian soprano Elisabeth Teige will perform the title role under the baton of Ivan Repušić, while Yonghoon Lee returns to the Dresden opera stage as the unyielding suitor Prince Calaf for which role the South Korean tenor is in demand worldwide. Performing the role of the Mandarin ensemble member Lawson Anderson will make his role debut on the premiere evening.
The second new opera production of the season is »Powder Her Face« by Thomas Adès, here directed by Georg Schmiedleitner, which premieres on the fourth Sunday of October. Based on the scandalous biography of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, the chamber opera has, since its premiere in Cheltenham, England, in 1995, been one of the most frequently performed operas in the British Isles. The audience at the production’s premiere in Semper Zwei on Friday, 20 October 2023, can decide for themselves whether this popularity is down to the four highly virtuosic solo roles and the homage to the popular musical styles of the dazzlingly sophisticated 1920s, or in fact to the »rather explicit« staging of the English premiere. For this production, the Semperoper welcomes the British-German conductor Tim Anderson, an internationally recognized specialist for contemporary music, as well as the British opera singers Mary Plazas as the scandalous Duchess and Rhian Lois as the Maid, both making their Dresden debuts.
The traditional »Auftakt!« event on 12 September 2023 will give a foretaste of the Semperoper programme for this very special season. Hosted by chief dramaturge Johann Casimir Eule and dramaturge Benedikt Stampfli, the soirée will kick-off the new musical year with members of the Semperoper ensemble performing some fun and thrilling excerpts from the 2023/24 programme, conducted by Johannes Wulff-Woesten. The posters to advertise the 2023/24 series of premieres are based on images by the Hungarian Paris-based photographer Marton Perlaki, who generously made a selection of his work available for this purpose.
The season will kick off in grand style with a three-day birthday party for Günter Baby Sommer. Organized in cooperation with the local Jazzclub Tonne e.V., the Semperoper is celebrating the 80th birthday of this celebrated star of the international jazz scene. Under the motto »Our Baby is turning 80!«, artists and companions – so last but not least, poet and legendary singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann – will honour the birthday boy on Friday and Saturday, 22 and 23 September 2023, in Semper Zwei. The grand closing concert of this festival of jazz will take place on Sunday, 24 September 2023, at Dresden’s jazz club Die Tonne, where Till Brönner, Daniel Erdmann, Nils Wogram, Robert Lucaciu and Günter Baby Sommer will join forces as BABY SOMMER ALL STAR BAND to jam with the audience.
Further details of the many Semperoper highlights for 2023/24 will be announced in due course. The complete programme can be found at semperoper.de.
Tickets can be purchased online as well as at the Schinkelwache box office on Theaterplatz (T +49 (0)351 4911 705). Any requests for review tickets should be sent to email@example.com, along with details of the editorial assignment and likely publication dates.
Photos and other publicity materials on Semperoper productions as well as the series of premiere posters can be downloaded from our press page at semperoper.de/presse
Photo: Premiere motif of »Turandot« © Martin Perlaki. The motif is part of the artistic concept for the premiere posters 2023/24 with a series of works by Martin Perlaki.