Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper

From 2 to 16 April 2023

Richard Strauss’s connection to Dresden, the Staatskapelle and the Semperoper was a turning point in Germany’s music history. After the young composer first visited the city in 1883, an intensive artistic and creative bond developed with the Staatskapelle, the opera and its music directors over the ensuing decades. Nine of his 15 operas were premiered in Dresden, including »Elektra«, »Arabella« and »Der Rosenkavalier«, while Strauss composed instrumental works especially for the Staatskapelle, such as the mighty »Alpine Symphony«.

The great enthusiasm for the works of Richard Strauss, whether at Staatskapelle concerts or chamber music recitals, on the Semperoper’s opera stage or at guest performances, has never waned over the ensuing decades. Richard Strauss Days have been held at the Semperoper at irregular intervals since 1909, most recently in 2015. During the »Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper« in 2023, the Semperoper and the Staatskapelle Dresden together with their principal conductor, Christian Thielemann, will present a diverse programme of works by this major composer, documenting Strauss’s close relationship with the Semperoper and the Staatskapelle. At the same time, the world of Vienna, the fin de siècle and the Rococo period will be brought back to life and voice through the operatic triad »Der Rosenkavalier«, »Arabella« and »Ariadne auf Naxos«.

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The fact that Dresden became a »Strauss city« was indirectly due to the artistic director of the Court Opera Unter den Linden, one Bolko von Hochberg. When the newly appointed Kapellmeister Richard Strauss wanted to bring his opera »Feuersnot« to the imperial court theatre in Berlin, the theatre management (and the censors) refused to approve the ironic period piece. And so Dresden seized its opportunity: Ernst von Schuch, later a tireless champion of Strauss and the conductor of many of his premieres, brought the world premiere to the Saxon capital on the Elbe in 1901 »despite some moral quibbles«.

With the premiere of »Salome« in Dresden in 1905, Richard Strauss sensationally launched what today is generally considered to be the first work of modern music theatre in the 20th century. »Elektra«, which premiered in Dresden in 1909, was also enthusiastically received, before being eclipsed just two years later by the premiere of »Der Rosenkavalier«, when critics and music lovers travelled to Dresden in special trains to witness this musical phenomenon. In 1912 Ernst von Schuch was still able to direct the first version of »Ariadne auf Naxos« shortly after its premiere in Stuttgart. When von Schuch died in 1914, Richard Strauss himself took charge of the memorial concert for the conductor.

Fritz Busch continued the tradition of Strauss premieres with »Intermezzo« (1924) and »Die ägyptische Helena« (1928). Richard Strauss clearly held Busch in great esteem: in 1932 he dedicated the finished score to his next opera »Arabella« to the Dresden conductor. When Fritz Busch was removed from office in 1933 by the Nazi cultural authorities, this did not prevent Richard Strauss from staging »Arabella« here under the baton of Clemens Krauss. The first performance of the opera »Die schweigsame Frau«, conducted by Karl Böhm, also took place under the shadow of Nazi Germany. While Richard Strauss managed to have the banned writer Stefan Zweig named on the playbill as the librettist, the work was dropped from the programme after only four performances. The ninth and final Strauss opera to be premiered in Dresden was »Daphne« on 15 October 1938. The dedicatee was Karl Böhm. 

Performances

During the Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper

11 am 
Semperoper Dresden

Semper Matinee & Soiree: »A Morning for Richard Strauss«

Matinee recital with songs by Richard Strauss and his contemporaries

5 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Der Rosenkavalier

Comedy for music in three acts by Richard Strauss Performed in German with surtitles
Der Rosenkavalier
Info

Ticket sales only as a complete package, written order from 10 a.m. on 8 Sept to 18 Sept 2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

Introductory talk

8.30 pm 
Semper Zwei

Semper Bar: »How to compose a menu«

A Semper Bar on Richard Strauss and others
Semper Bar

7 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Arabella

Opera in three acts by Richard Strauss Performed in German with German and English supertitles
Arabella
Info

Ticket sales only as a complete package, written order from 10 a.m. on 8 Sept to 18 Sept 2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

Introductory talk

8.30 pm 
Semper Zwei

A Window on Jazz: »Laut & Leise« (»Loud & Quiet«)

Unusual artistic perspectives – Günter Baby Sommer’s musical commentary on Richard Strauss
A Window on Jazz

4 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Arabella

Opera in three acts by Richard Strauss Performed in German with German and English supertitles
Arabella
Info

Ticket sales only as a complete package, written order from 10 a.m. on 8 Sept to 18 Sept 2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

Introductory talk

7 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Sonderkonzert der Sächsischen Staatskapelle
Info

KARTENVERKAUF NUR ALS PAKET SCHRIFTLICH VOM 8.9., 10 UHR BIS 18.9.2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

11 am 
Semperoper Dresden

Sonderkonzert der Sächsischen Staatskapelle

4 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Der Rosenkavalier

Comedy for music in three acts by Richard Strauss Performed in German with surtitles
Der Rosenkavalier
Info

Ticket sales only as a complete package, written order from 10 a.m. on 8 Sept to 18 Sept 2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

Introductory talk

7.30 pm 
Schauspielhaus Dresden

»Enoch Arden« op. 38, TrV 181

Melodram für Sprecher und Klavier nach einem Gedicht von Alfred Lord Tennyson

8 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

6. Kammer­abend

Werke von Richard Strauss und Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
6. Kammerabend

8 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

Ariadne auf Naxos (concert performance)

Concert performance by Richard Strauss Performed in German with German and English surtitles
Ariadne auf Naxos (concert performance)
Info

Ticket sales only as a complete package, written order from 10 a.m. on 8 Sept to 18 Sept 2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

11 am 
Semperoper Dresden

7 pm 
Semperoper Dresden

9. Symphonie­konzert

Dirigent: Christian Thielemann / Sopran: Diana Damrau
9. Symphoniekonzert
Info

KARTENVERKAUF NUR ALS PAKET SCHRIFTLICH VOM 8.9., 10 UHR BIS 18.9.2022

Guided tour through the Semperoper

Introductory talk

11 am 
Semperoper Dresden

9. Symphonie­konzert

Dirigent: Christian Thielemann / Sopran: Diana Damrau
9. Symphoniekonzert
  Sub / Packages
Info

Introductory talk


Further performances as part of the Richard Strauss Days

»A composer between the ages«
A podium on Richard Strauss, Dresden and Vienna
In cooperation with the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music, DresdenKomponist
Speakers and date to be announced in due course

Tickets and prices

Special terms and conditions apply to ticket sales for the »Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper«.

In particular, tickets can initially be purchased solely as a package. Written orders only (i.e. by email, fax, letter or order form) will be accepted from 10 a.m. on 8 September to 18 September 2022 for seats in the loge (opera box) and seating groups 1 to 6. Orders received before 10 a.m. on 8 September 2022 will be ignored.

Any remaining tickets for individual performances will be released for sale at 10 a.m. on 1 December 2022.

Pakete für die Richard Strauss-Tage in der Semperoper  

Strauss Paket 1 – ZSTR1
Mo 3.4.2023, 17 Uhr Der Rosenkavalier
Mi 5.4.2023, 19 Uhr Arabella
Preis pro Person Euro 520 / 425 / 390 / 310 / 265 / 200 / 110

Strauss Paket 2 – ZSTR2
Fr 7.4.2023, 16 Uhr Arabella
Sa 8.4.2023, 19 Uhr Sonderkonzert der Sächsischen Staatskapelle mit Jakub Hrůša
Mo 10.4.2023, 16 Uhr Der Rosenkavalier
Preis pro Person Euro 614 / 503 / 456 / 364 / 308 / 227 / 126

Strauss Paket 3 – ZSTR3
Fr 14.4.2023, 19 Uhr Ariadne auf Naxos
Sa 15.4.2023, 19 Uhr 9. Symphoniekonzert
Preis pro Person Euro 288 / 244 / 210 / 179 / 148 / 99 / 61

Optional können folgende Veranstaltungen zu allen Paketen hinzu gebucht werden:

Mi 12.4.2023, 20 Uhr 5. Kammerabend
Preis pro Person Euro 10

Sa 15.4.2023 11 Uhr Matinee mit Liedern von Richard Strauss
Preis pro Person Euro 33 / 27 / 22 / 20 / 17 / 11 / 6

Video trailer