Opernhaus | Zurich

2023/2024 Season

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Dates & times are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change, please check local sources for latest updates

I vespri siciliani Thu, 04-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

I vespri siciliani Wed, 10-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM   

Das Land des Lächelns Fri, 05-Jul-2024 at 08:00PM  

Turandot Wed, 03-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Turandot Fri, 12-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Andrea Chénier Sun, 14-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Don Giovanni Sat, 14-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

Don Giovanni Tue, 10-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

La rondine Sat, 21-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

Götterdämmerung Thu, 09-Nov-2023 at 05:00PM

La rondine Wed, 18-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

Götterdämmerung Sun, 05-Nov-2023 at 04:00PM

Platée Sat, 30-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Götterdämmerung Thu, 09-May-2024 at 04:00PM

Macbeth Fri, 17-Nov-2023 at 07:30PM

Platée Sun, 10-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Platée Fri, 15-Dec-2023 at 07:30PM

Platée Tue, 16-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Barkouf Wed, 20-Dec-2023 at 08:00PM

Sweeney Todd Sat, 13-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Werther Tue, 23-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Werther Wed, 31-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Werther Fri, 19-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Così fan tutte Wed, 07-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Sun, 18-Feb-2024 at 01:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Tue, 20-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Amerika Fri, 15-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Wed, 13-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Wed, 10-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Wed, 24-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Sat, 11-May-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Sun, 10-Mar-2024 at 08:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Thu, 14-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Amerika Sat, 13-Apr-2024 at 07:30PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Mon, 01-Apr-2024 at 02:00PM

Carmen Fri, 12-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Wed, 12-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

A Midsummer Night's Dream Wed, 08-May-2024 at 07:30PM

Siegfried Tue, 07-May-2024 at 05:30PM

L'OrfeoWed, 22-May-2024 at 07:00PM

Don Giovanni Thu, 05-Oct-2023 at 07:30PM

Das Rheingold Sat, 27-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Die Walküre Mon, 20-May-2024 at 04:00PM

L'Orfeo Sat, 25-May-2024 at 07:30PM

L'Orfeo Sat, 08-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

La rondine Sun, 08-Oct-2023 at 01:00PM

La rondine Fri, 13-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

La rondine Sat, 28-Oct-2023 at 07:30PM

Macbeth Tue, 21-Nov-2023 at 07:00PM

Macbeth Sat, 25-Nov-2023 at 07:00PM

Macbeth Tue, 28-Nov-2023 at 07:00PM

Macbeth Fri, 01-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Platée Tue, 12-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Platée Thu, 21-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

I vespri siciliani Thu, 13-Jun-2024 at 07:30PM

Iphigénie en Tauride Wed, 11-Oct-2023 at 07:00PM

Iphigénie en Tauride Sun, 15-Oct-2023 at 08:00PM

Götterdämmerung Sun, 12-Nov-2023 at 03:00PM

Götterdämmerung Sat, 18-Nov-2023 at 05:00PM

Götterdämmerung Fri, 24-Nov-2023 at 05:00PM

Götterdämmerung Sun, 03-Dec-2023 at 02:00PM

Götterdämmerung Sun, 26-May-2024 at 04:00PM

Platée Tue, 26-Dec-2023 at 01:00PM

Platée Wed, 10-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Platée Fri, 12-Jan-2024 at 07:30PM

Platée Sun, 14-Jan-2024 at 02:00PM

Sweeney Todd Fri, 22-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Sweeney Todd Sun, 07-Jan-2024 at 01:00PM

Sweeney Todd Sun, 07-Jan-2024 at 08:00PM

L'italiana in Algeri Sun, 31-Dec-2023 at 07:30PM

L'italiana in Algeri Thu, 04-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

L'italiana in Algeri Tue, 09-Jan-2024 at 08:00PM

Werther Sun, 04-Feb-2024 at 07:30PM

Barkouf Sat, 16-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Barkouf Sat, 23-Dec-2023 at 07:00PM

Barkouf Tue, 26-Dec-2023 at 08:00PM

Sweeney Todd Fri, 29-Dec-2023 at 07:30PM

L'italiana in Algeri Tue, 02-Jan-2024 at 08:00PM

L'italiana in Algeri Sat, 06-Jan-2024 at 07:30PM

Werther Sat, 27-Jan-2024 at 07:00PM

Così fan tutte Sun, 28-Jan-2024 at 07:30PM

Così fan tutte Sat, 03-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Fri, 16-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Fri, 01-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Tue, 05-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Amerika Sun, 24-Mar-2024 at 02:00PM

Amerika Sat, 06-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Sun, 17-Mar-2024 at 08:00PM

Così fan tutte Sat, 10-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Sun, 11-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Wed, 14-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Sun, 25-Feb-2024 at 07:00PM

Die lustige Witwe Thu, 07-Mar-2024 at 07:30PM

Die lustige Witwe Tue, 12-Mar-2024 at 07:30PM

Amerika Sun, 03-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Amerika Wed, 06-Mar-2024 at 08:00PM

Amerika Sat, 09-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Sun, 10-Mar-2024 at 02:00PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Sat, 23-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Die Csárdásfürstin Sat, 30-Mar-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Sun, 07-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Sun, 14-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Fri, 19-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Sun, 21-Apr-2024 at 02:00PM

Carmen Sat, 04-May-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Wed, 15-May-2024 at 07:00PM

Carmen Sat, 15-Jun-2024 at 08:00PM

Das Rheingold Sat, 20-Apr-2024 at 07:00PM

Das Rheingold Fri, 03-May-2024 at 07:00PM

Rheingold Sat, 18-May-2024 at 07:00PM

A Midsummer Night's Dream Sat, 04-May-2024 at 07:30PM

A Midsummer Night's Dream Sun, 12-May-2024 at 02:30PM

A Midsummer Night's Dream Wed, 15-May-2024 at 07:30PM

A Midsummer Night's Dream Fri, 17-May-2024 at 07:30PM

Die Walküre Sun, 05-May-2024 at 04:00PM

Siegfried Fri, 24-May-2024 at 05:30PM

L'Orfeo Fri, 17-May-2024 at 07:00PM

L'Orfeo Sun, 02-Jun-2024 at 08:00PM

L'Orfeo Thu, 06-Jun-2024 at 08:00PM

L'Orfeo Tue, 11-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

L'Orfeo Sun, 16-Jun-2024 at 02:00PM

I vespri siciliani Sun, 23-Jun-2024 at 07:30PM

I vespri siciliani Fri, 28-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

I vespri siciliani Sun, 07-Jul-2024 at 02:00PM

I vespri siciliani Sat, 13-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Das Land des Lächelns Fri, 21-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

Das Land des Lächelns Tue, 25-Jun-2024 at 08:00PM

L'Orfeo Fri, 31-May-2024 at 07:00PM

I vespri siciliani Sun, 09-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

I vespri siciliani Thu, 20-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

Das Land des Lächelns Sat, 29-Jun-2024 at 07:00PM

Das Land des Lächelns Tue, 02-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Turandot Sun, 30-Jun-2024 at 07:30PM

Turandot Sat, 06-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM

Turandot Tue, 09-Jul-2024 at 08:00PM

Andrea Chénier Sun, 07-Jul-2024 at 08:00PM

Andrea Chénier Thu, 11-Jul-2024 at 07:00PM 

Dates & times are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change, please check local sources for latest updates

Don Giovanni - With Don Giovanni, Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte reached one of the pinnacles of the opera genre. The title character they created for the stage is much more than just the irresistible ladies’ man the plot initially makes him out to be. Don Giovanni is a libertine par excellence, a champion of pleasure, debauchery, and excess. He’s a rebel, on a highway to hell. The curtain's fall raises the question: Does the loss left by the hero's downfall outweigh the satisfaction of the just punishment that befalls him? At the Opernhaus Zürich, we present Sebastian Baumgarten’s visually powerful, garishly colored production, which was controversial when it premiered eleven years ago but has since found a comfortable home in our house’s repertoire. For his interpretation, the German director has sought a way to make the eponymous hero’s rebellious potential and his objectionably scandalous way of life recognizable, even to the liberal 21st century perception. Baumgarten playfully resurrects the instructive character that the Don Juan myth had in its original form, and works with a complex collage of images, deliberate narrative breaks, and a great deal of subversive wit. The internationally sought-after soprano Golda Schultz sings the role of Donna Anna for the first time, Ruzan Mantashyan returns to the Opernhaus as Donna Elvira, and Konstantin Shushakov is Don Giovanni, as in the prior revival.

La rondine"The Swallow," declared Giacomo Puccini, "an operetta? Never!" His intention was to compose, at most, a comedic opera similar to "Rosenkavalier," but with greater entertainment value and cohesion. Amid the backdrop of World War I, Puccini embarked on the creation of "La rondine" (The Swallow), commissioned by the Viennese Carl Theater. This work represented a novel fusion of classical opera and operetta, a unique blend that puzzled critics at its premiere in Monte Carlo in 1917, amidst the dark cloud of war. Some found it too weighty to classify as an operetta, while others considered it too lightweight for opera. Puccini, who revised the conclusion multiple times, continued to regard his "problem child" as a success. Yet, alongside his more renowned operas like "Le villi" and "Edgar," "La rondine" is seldom performed in theaters today, unjustly so. The Opernhaus Zürich is now presenting the Swiss premiere of this opera.

The poet Prunier predicts a future for Magda de Civry, who resides in the opulent home of her wealthy patron, Rambaldo, in Paris. He likens her life to that of a swallow, flying towards the sea. When Magda encounters Ruggero, a young man from the provinces, she seizes the opportunity to escape her gilded cage. However, Magda's yearning to relive the initial ecstasy of love remains unfulfilled.

Puccini's score reveals a soaring tonality and instrumentation reminiscent of the styles of Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy, as if penned with a silver quill. Unconventional and estranged versions of the waltz and foxtrot permeate the work, creating a perpetual sense of the ethereal and surreal—a piece ideally suited for director Christof Loy, renowned for his subtle directing style that consistently captivates Zurich audiences. This new production boasts a world-class cast, featuring Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho as Magda and tenor Benjamin Bernheim, who rose to prominence in Zurich and is now an international sensation, in the role of Ruggero. Marco Armiliato, a recognized expert in navigating Puccini's intricate and delicate score, leads the Philharmonia Zürich.

Iphigenie en Tauride - "Iphigénie en Tauride," an ancient tale ensnared in an unending cycle of violence, offers no respite from its relentless grip. The saga commences with Agamemnon's grim resolve to sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, in a desperate bid to appease the goddess Diana and secure his entry into the Trojan War. Clytemnestra, Iphigenia's mother, retaliates by slaying Agamemnon upon his return from battle. In a cruel twist, Orestes, Iphigenia's brother, seeks retribution for his father's murder by taking the life of his own mother. As a consequence, Orestes finds himself tormented by the Eumenides, the vengeful goddesses. The oracle of Delphi foretells that his sole redemption lies in a voyage to Tauris, tasked with the mission of returning the statue of Diana to Greece. Meanwhile, Iphigenia, rescued by Diana's intervention just moments before her sacrificial demise, resides in Tauris as the goddess's priestess. It is her duty to offer every stranger who sets foot on the island as a sacrifice to Diana. However, when she is poised to enact this ritual upon Orestes, the long-lost siblings recognize each other, and Iphigenia refuses to spill more blood. Thus, the ceaseless cycle of bloodshed is at last severed.

Christoph Willibald Gluck, the eminent reformer, breathed new life into the staid realm of 18th-century French opera, imbuing it with the vibrant drama of human emotions. His music provided a spectacular outlet for the inner conflicts of the protagonists. Andreas Homoki's acclaimed and focused production places the characters' emotions at the epicenter of the narrative, particularly Iphigenia's struggle between her affection for her brother and her priestess duties, underscored by her remarkable capacity for forgiveness. Birgitte Christensen reprises the title role, having previously graced the premiere series. Accompanying the drama is the Orchestra La Scintilla, wielding period instruments from the orchestra pit. The musical direction is helmed by Greek conductor George Petrou, a seasoned expert in the early classical repertoire.

Gotterdammerung - "Götterdämmerung," the concluding chapter of Richard Wagner's epic "Bühnenfestspiel" that spanned the world, initially portrayed Siegfried and Brünnhilde reveling in their love at the end of the second day. In that fleeting moment, a utopia governed by love, unburdened by power struggles, seemed within reach. However, as the third and final day dawned, the Norns proclaimed, "Zu End' ist ewiges Wissen" – "Eternal knowledge is at its end," foretelling a calamitous conclusion. Although Siegfried loves her deeply, he soon departs from Brünnhilde in pursuit of new adventures. Along the way, he encounters Hagen, the son of the embittered Alberich, who manipulates Siegfried for his cynical ambitions of dominion. Exploiting Siegfried proves effortless, as he remains oblivious to the ring's formidable power, the very ring he had given Brünnhilde as a symbol of their love. But Hagen is well aware of its potency, propelled by insatiable greed for power and control, he weaves a treacherous web of intrigue.

However, Siegfried is not Hagen's sole victim. Brünnhilde, too, endures a heart-wrenching betrayal, enduring profound humiliation and enduring agony. Siegfried's demise ultimately precipitates the apocalypse – the curse of the ring remains as potent as ever. When Brünnhilde comprehends the depths of the deception, she returns the ring to the Rhinemaidens, choosing her own death. Amidst the backdrop of destruction and decline, a glimmer of hope emerges: the so-called "redemption motif," first heard when Brünnhilde heralded Siegfried's birth to Sieglinde in "Die Walküre," resurfaces at the close of "Götterdämmerung."

Richard Wagner initiated work on the text and composition of the "Ring des Nibelungen" in Zurich in 1849, during a period marked by revolutionary fervor. Some 26 years later, after a 12-year hiatus from composing "Siegfried," he completed his magnum opus and premiered it at the newly established Bayreuther Festspiele. Here at the Opernhaus, Intendant and stage director Andreas Homoki, alongside General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, culminate their Zurich Ring cycle with the premiere of "Götterdämmerung." Camilla Nylund and Klaus Florian Vogt reprise their roles as Siegfried and Brünnhilde, embarking on significant role debuts once again in Zurich.

Macbeth - In Barrie Kosky's strikingly minimalist rendition of "Macbeth," as the final curtain descends, the deranged Lady Macbeth finds herself isolated in a cold, piercing spotlight, futilely attempting to cleanse her hands of the indelible bloodstains. Her sole confidant appears to be a solitary black crow, the only creature seemingly capable of comprehending her torment. This production, which garnered a deluge of accolades during its premiere, brims with innovative theatrical moments.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung hailed it as an "aesthetic milestone in the work's history." Kosky's vision relies on minimalistic elements—a vast, unadorned, black stage that stretches into infinity, two luminous cages of light, two chairs, an unclothed ensemble of witches, and a handful of vibrant beams of light. With these sparse components, Verdi's adaptation of this Shakespearean masterpiece unfolds. The direction delves deeply into the inner turmoil of Macbeth and his spouse, as if the entire drama transpires exclusively within the recesses of their minds, manifesting as voices, shadows, spectral apparitions, and hallucinations in the empty void. Seven years following its debut, this rendition of "Macbeth" remains a theatrical marvel, exuding an irresistible and evocative allure.

Platee - Platée, the water nymph, can barely utter an exclamation of "Ouffe!" when Jupiter, the king of the gods, ensnares her with honeyed words. Platée, portrayed by a tenor, resides in a marsh, ruling over a multitude of multi-legged creatures, convinced that all men are besotted with her charms. However, when the mightiest of the gods himself takes an interest, the tale takes a cruel twist for this lovelorn nymph. Jupiter feigns affection for Platée in an elaborate ruse to cure his wife, Juno, of her jealousy, all at the expense of the humiliated and disillusioned nymph.

Jean-Philippe Rameau's musical theater masterpiece, "Platée," is an exceptional creation from the Baroque era. It boldly straddles the realms of tragedy and comedy, pushing the boundaries between opera and "ballet bouffon." Rameau's music is nothing short of enchanting, radiating with a vivacious, shimmering quality. This opera debuted at Versailles in 1745, commemorating the royal wedding. However, its narrative, featuring a character who traverses different worlds, clashed with the rigid courtly hierarchies and stringent conventions. Platée's audacious belief that the king of gods could fall in love with her was a brazen affront. Rameau's "Platée" delves into the profound facets of the human experience and serves as a heartfelt tribute to the world of theater and art. In the prologue, Thespis, the originator of comedy, makes an appearance and ignites the creative spark with the words, "Formons un spectacle nouveau!" And through the extravagant character of La Folie, Rameau reminds us that true art, much like life itself, requires a touch of madness.

Under the direction of Dutch stage director Jetske Mijnssen and conductor Emmanuelle Haïm, the successful collaboration that began with "Hippolyte et Aricie" continues at the Opernhaus Zürich with their production of "Platée." This new presentation stars Mathias Vidal, a French tenor celebrated in the realm of Baroque music, as Platée, while the coloratura-laden role of La Folie is performed by English soprano Mary Bevan. American bass Evan Hughes, familiar to Zurich audiences from his appearances in "Belshazzar" and "Don Giovanni," takes on the role of Jupiter.

Barkouf - In the curious tale of "Barkouf," an unconventional ruler, bearing the name Barkouf, is unexpectedly thrust into power over a formidable city by the Great Mogul, who seeks to humiliate his unruly subjects. The brilliant Jacques Offenbach, a theatrical maverick, dared to provoke the ire of Parisian censors during the Second French Empire with this work to such an extent that the newly composed opéra comique was outright banned. The censors decried it as "an unrelenting satire on the highest authority of our era and our nation." Adding to their displeasure was the subversion of power dynamics within the play, as the actual reins of control fall into the hands of a woman: Barkouf's former owner, Maïma, a young flower vendor. Believing her dog to be lost, she stumbles upon him occupying the throne and seizes the opportunity to become the translator for the newly appointed canine head of state, thanks to the Grand Vizier Bababeck's intervention. Maïma takes on the role of Barkouf's spokesperson, granting generous pardons and tax reductions as the populace celebrates. However, beneath the jubilation lurks conspiratorial unrest.

Among Offenbach's oeuvre, "Barkouf" stands out as a politically charged work, premiering in Paris in 1860. It had recently resurfaced from the archives of Offenbach's descendants. Musically, "Barkouf" shines as a precious gem, counting among the composer's most experimental creations. It oscillates between grand opera and operetta, captivating with its lively melodies and skillfully weaving in bel canto stylings reminiscent of Donizetti or Rossini. The bold harmonic shifts in the score hint at Offenbach occasionally drawing inspiration from his polar opposite, Richard Wagner.

For this revival, Max Hopp stages this allegorical narrative about power as a vibrant revue, reveling in dramatic exaggeration. Returning to the conductor's podium is the French maestro Jérémie Rhorer. American coloratura soprano Brenda Rae reprises her challenging role as Maïma for this series of performances, while Dutch character tenor Marcel Beekman, in the role of Bababeck, delivers an unmissable performance.

Sweeney Todd - "Sweeney Todd" unfolds the tale of a barber who reemerges in his hometown after a 15-year absence. The man known as Sweeney Todd, but not by his true name, is consumed by a burning desire for vengeance against Judge Turpin. The judge had egregiously wronged Todd's wife, Lucy, leading to Todd's exile to an Australian penal colony. Upon his return, Todd discovers from Mrs. Lovett that his daughter, Johanna, now resides as Judge Turpin's ward and faces an impending marriage to the judge. Sweeney reoccupies his former barber shop, sharpening his blades with murderous intent. However, when Todd's calculated plan to murder Turpin takes a disastrous turn, he vows revenge against all of humanity, venting his fury by killing indiscriminately. In parallel, Mrs. Lovett devises her own gruesome scheme: she processes the corpses into meat pies, profiting from an unwitting clientele.

While "Sweeney Todd" is categorized as a musical, its opulent and continuously scored music, drawing inspiration from classical horror literature and horror films, brings it closer to the realm of grand opera. The role of the titular character demands a remarkable performer capable of portraying the deeply wounded yet bloodthirsty Sweeney Todd with a grand operatic voice resonating in the darkest dimensions. Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel embodies this role with brilliance, having earned acclaim as Sweeney Todd during the production's premiere and now returning for the revival of Andreas Homoki's triumphant staging. Rejoining him as Todd's partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, is the Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager. Musical specialist David Charles Abell, as in the premiere, conducts the Philharmonia Zürich.

L'italiana in Algeri - What could be more delightful than bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming the new one with the music of Gioachino Rossini? This revival of "L'italiana in Algeri" promises to quicken the hearts of Rossini enthusiasts. Just as in the original series, Cecilia Bartoli returns to grace the stage in the titular role, alongside the magnificent bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Mustafà and Nicola Alaimo as Taddeo, all of whom are virtuosic interpreters of Rossini's work. Edgardo Rocha, a familiar presence at the Opernhaus, joins them in the demanding tenor role of Lindoro. Conductor Gianluca Capuano will deftly navigate the orchestrated chaos that characterizes this work, described as "organized and complete madness" by Stendhal.

In 1813, a young Rossini achieved tremendous success with this, his first full-length buffa opera, at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice, triggering a Europe-wide Rossini craze. The storyline embraces the Romantic Exoticism tradition, particularly the "Turkish opera" trend that gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite having a harem filled with women, Mustafà is uninterested in any of them. He seeks to pair off his primary wife, Elvira, with his favorite slave. Additionally, he harbors aspirations of new amorous adventures, ideally with a passionate Italian woman. As fortune would have it, a ship appears on the horizon, carrying his desired prey: Isabella. She is on a quest to find her lost lover, Lindoro, who coincidentally serves as Mustafà's favorite slave. However, Isabella possesses the wits to manipulate Mustafà's fascination to her advantage, adhering to the adage, "Make yourself a sheep, and you shall be eaten by the wolf."

We present this delightful production of "L'italiana in Algeri" by stage directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, which originally premiered at the Salzburg Pfingstfestspele and made its debut in Zurich last season. Set in modern Algeria, the production transforms the opera into a vibrant multicultural comedy.

Werther - Drawing inspiration from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's renowned epistolary novel "Die Leiden des jungen Werther" (Sorrows of Young Werther), French composer Jules Massenet crafted a composition brimming with ecstatic emotions and intimate character portraits. Massenet's opera stands as a cornerstone within the French Romantic repertoire, navigating the stark contrast between the fervent Sturm-und-Drang love experienced by the poet Werther and the inescapable confines of Charlotte's mundane bourgeois existence, the object of his affections. Their love, bereft of hope, swells into a formidable rebellion against the unreasonable demands of adulthood and a life devoid of dreams. Under the meticulous direction of stage director Tatjana Gürbaca, deeply poignant characters take shape, ultimately succumbing to their shared fate. The colossal emotional scope of their all-consuming, rapturous love proves irreconcilable with the constraints imposed by society.

Assuming the role of Werther, a tenor part renowned for its beauty and expressiveness within the French repertoire, is the internationally acclaimed singer with Zurich roots, tenor Benjamin Bernheim. Leading the orchestra is the young Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė, a rising talent poised for a prominent international career.

Cosi fan tutte - Mozart's operas often delve into the enigmatic terrain of love, and none more so than "Così fan tutte." At first glance, everything seems straightforward, clear-cut, and beyond dispute. Ferrando and Guglielmo are deeply in love with their fiancées, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, and they are willing to wager anyone that their beloveds remain faithful—Don Alfonso included, who's fairly confident he can prove otherwise. However, what commences as a harmless game soon transforms into a heart-wrenching experiment that leaves all involved in a state of turmoil. Each character is compelled to confront the disconcerting disparity between what they believe they feel and the raw, unfiltered emotions that surge within. Mozart delves into the labyrinthine recesses of his characters' conflicted and vacillating hearts, uniquely harnessing music to elucidate the complexity of their emotional states. Mozart, however, refrains from passing moral judgment on his characters, crafting a musical theater piece that presents profound emotional depths in a brilliantly humorous, lighthearted manner. Yet, in this opera, the impenetrable depths of human emotion are not solely the domain of women: "così fan tutti."

This dense and boldly modern production by Kirill Serebrennikov dates back to 2018 and was developed under extraordinary circumstances. The Russian director was confined to house arrest in Moscow, preventing him from attending rehearsals. Nevertheless, this did not hinder his artistic prowess, and both critics and audiences were enthralled by the outcome. This revival offers a truly fresh interpretation of the opera. Making her debut as Fiordiligi is the French soprano Vannina Santoni, while Samantha Hankey, the young and globally sought-after mezzo-soprano, returns to the Opernhaus as Dorabella, following her debut as Cherubino in 2019.

Die lustige Witwe - Franz Lehár's operetta, "Die lustige Witwe," had its grand premiere in Vienna back in 1905, sparking a global phenomenon known as operetta fever. Its fervor soon transcended borders, reaching as far as New York, where it permeated everyday life. People donned Merry Widow hats, indulged in Merry Widow cigarettes, and savored Merry Widow cocktails. The bustling metropolises of the early 20th century provided the perfect breeding ground for a commercial operetta cult, akin to the success of the burgeoning department stores of the era, as noted by philosopher Theodor Adorno. Lehár's operetta, from its infectious hit melodies to its folkloric charm, from its lighthearted cancan to its poignant waltz duets, offered a musical smorgasbord to satiate every heart's desire. The plot itself whisks the audience away into a realm of love and opulence: the affluent widow Hanna Glawari is the object of adoration for Parisian gentlemen. Meanwhile, Mirko Zeta, the ambassador from the debt-ridden state of Pontevedro, frets that the widow may surrender her heart and fortune to a Frenchman. To avert this, he enlists the carefree Danilo to woo her. However, Hanna and Danilo are determined not to appear driven solely by money, opting for a gradual approach. Through today's lens, it's evident that beneath the veneer of the fictional operetta state of Pontevedro and the exaggeratedly nonchalant outlook of the Merry Widow lies a premonition of the impending decline of bourgeois society, political strife, and looming inflation.

Stage director Barrie Kosky, known for revitalizing the operetta genre with numerous original productions at the Komische Oper in Berlin, will bring "The Merry Widow" to life at the Opernhaus Zürich, marking his debut in operetta direction here. The central roles will be portrayed by the exceptional singers and performers Marlis Petersen and Michael Volle. The talented young Austrian conductor, Patrick Hahn, will lead the Philharmonia Zürich.

Amerika - Franz Kafka's novel fragment "Amerika," penned at the dawn of the 20th century, foresaw the looming crises of modernity. This unfinished narrative chronicles Karl Rossmann's nightmarish odyssey through life to America, a land bursting with grand promises of happiness that swiftly unravel into a realm of absurd restrictions and impossibilities. As if by happenstance, Karl crosses paths with seemingly caring relatives, domineering spouses, cunning criminals, and authoritarian superiors, plunging deeper into a cycle of hope, dependence, exploitation, and abandonment. Karl embodies "The Lost One," as Kafka originally titled him.

Another figure nearly lost to the world is composer Roman Haubenstock-Ramati. Born of Polish-Israeli heritage, he resided in Vienna as a music editor and composition instructor following Kafkaesque episodes of flight and exile. His magnum opus is a musical theater piece based on Kafka's "Amerika," first performed in Berlin in 1969, and held in legendary regard. Since its premiere, the opera has seen only two subsequent performances but remains a seminal work in 20th-century opera composition, taking the form of a bold musical theater sketch. "Amerika" fuses compositional precision with significant artistic freedom. In Haubenstock-Ramati's creation, the episodes from Kafka's novel unite to form mesmerizing mobiles of sound, image, action, and light, engaging the audience by incorporating sound projections into the performance space. Following presentations of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's "Soldaten," Wolfgang Rihm's "Hamletmaschine," Heinz Holliger's "Lunea," and Helmut Lachenmann's "Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern," the opera house proudly introduces "Amerika" as the latest installment in its series of avant-garde modern music theater concepts. Haubenstock-Ramati's sensory, visual, and intellectual voyage, which challenges every facet of perception, will be brought to life by the accomplished German director, Sebastian Baumgarten, a seasoned interpreter of non-linear, multimedia theater. The intricately designed production will be under the musical direction of Gabriel Feltz, a conductor known for his adept handling of even the most formidable challenges posed by contemporary music with both prudence and passion.

Die Csardasfurstin - As Emmerich Kálmán composed "Die Csárdásfürstin," the world was ablaze with the outbreak of the First World War. Kálmán's work was interrupted by the conflict, and the premiere eventually took place in Vienna in 1915, later than originally planned, as the theaters had closed due to the war's onset. The prevailing global circumstances are palpable in the lyrics of "Die Csárdásfürstin": "Wo man tanzt und küsst und lacht, pfeif’ ich auf der Welt Misere" - "Where we dance and kiss and smile, there I’ll laugh at the world’s misery," sing the protagonists at the beginning of the show. And in the closing duet, the lovers seek solace in each other's arms as a sanctuary amid the world's turmoil: "Mag die ganze Welt versinken, hab ich dich!" - "And should the whole world sink, I’ll still have you!"

For this depiction of a dance on the precipice, this cheerfulness in the face of impending calamity, stage director Jan Philipp Gloger sought a contemporary equivalent. His adaptation of "Die Csárdásfürstin" in Zurich unfolds on a luxurious yacht, where a group of the super-rich embark on a global journey in an attempt to preserve their collective good spirits amidst the world's multiple crises. They turn a blind eye to their opulent squalor and drown out their personal relationship woes with exuberance and champagne. Gloger presents the operetta as a surreal, extravagant voyage toward utter catastrophe: Refugee boats, commodified South Seas tourist romance, a sea littered with debris, melting icebergs, and perspiring polar bears punctuate the course of a society that craves distraction. Yet, the operetta's lively and joyful spirit remains intact.

Returning for this revival is Annette Dasch, portraying Silva Varescu, the variety artist from humble beginnings. Pavol Breslik attempts to win her heart with his lush tenor voice and boundless wealth as Edwin, the prince's son. Joining them, as in the premiere, is Swiss conductor Lorenzo Viotti, one of the younger generation's most esteemed stars.

Carmen - Few motives are as potent as disenchanted love when it comes to evoking feelings of hatred and murder. In Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen," the simple soldier Don José swiftly transforms into a murderer after a chance encounter with the captivating Carmen. He becomes hopelessly enamored with her, committing himself to her for the rest of his life. However, Carmen's affections soon shift to the torero Escamillo. All of Bizet's characters navigate the complex terrain between worlds, traversing a perilously explosive field of tension where attraction meets rejection, seriousness meets playfulness, and desire grapples with duty and self-sacrifice.

Bizet's "Carmen" remains utterly captivating due to its unrelenting drama and the primal impact of its melodies. As Tchaikovsky once wrote, "This is a masterpiece in the truest sense, one of those rare compositions that reflect to the highest degree the musical aspirations of an entire age." However, when it premiered at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1875, the bourgeois audience initially reacted with disapproval, deeming Bizet's work too vivid and immoral. Carmen, with her anarchic quest for freedom and unapologetically lived femininity, posed a threat to the established order. Nevertheless, the opera quickly embarked on a triumphant journey, becoming an enduring operatic icon of the modern era.

Stage director Andreas Homoki melds the timelessness of the material with a tangible theatrical setting, using the Opéra Comique—the site of the opera's premiere—as the production's starting point. Bizet's work, with its playfully open structure and multi-layered theatrical elements, is intimately connected to the genre cultivated on that very stage. The debut of up-and-coming mezzo-soprano Marina Viotti, a Lausanne native, as Carmen is highly anticipated. Star tenor Saimir Pirgu, closely associated with the Zurich Opera House, portrays Don José, while Łukasz Goliński, in high demand globally, takes on the role of Escamillo. Bizet's immensely evocative score still holds untapped interpretive potential, and General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda is sure to draw new sounds from this frequently performed masterpiece.

Das Rheingold - The premiere of "Götterdämmerung" in the fall of 2023 marks the culmination of the new Zurich Ring des Nibelungen, under the musical guidance of General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the creative direction of Intendant and Stage Director Andreas Homoki. In the spring of 2024, we will present all four parts of Richard Wagner's monumental Weltdeutungsmythos as a cycle, following the composer's original intention for a chronological presentation of the four works.

The overarching theme of Andreas Homoki's comprehensive concept for this epic work is a return to the origins, encapsulating the creation and ultimate downfall of a world. Wagner's "Ring des Nibelungen" is also a family saga centered around Wotan, the father of the gods, his struggle with honor and betrayal, questions of freedom and captivity, and his desperate attempts to avert the catastrophe he himself set in motion. In Homoki's production, the characters from the Ring, including gods, humans, and mythical beings, are portrayed intimately, allowing for a clear understanding of their motivations and relationships through precise character development.

The cyclical performance of the complete Ring enables the audience to follow the intricate scenic and musical developments, as well as the intricately woven tapestry of musical and narrative motifs spanning all four evenings. This experience is particularly captivating because the same singers embody the characters in all four parts: Tomasz Konieczny as Wotan, Camilla Nylund as Brünnhilde, Christopher Purves as Alberich, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke as Mime, and Klaus Florian Vogt as Siegfried.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - In his final speech, Puck characterizes A Midsummer Night's Dream as a "feeble and frivolous theme, no more substantial than a dream." This description raises the intriguing question of who, in fact, was the dreamer in this whimsical tale. Were it the young lovers, or perhaps the craftsmen who found themselves lost on stage in the enchanted realm of the fairies? Could it even have been the audience in the theater, transported into a dreamlike state by the play's magic?

Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream masterfully underscores the idea that the theater is a realm of dreams like no other. It is in this play that he most vividly demonstrates this concept. Composer Benjamin Britten, renowned for his exploration of the subconscious, repressed desires, and taboos in his works, delves deeply into the darker aspects of human nature in his chamber opera adaptation.

In Britten's interpretation, the first act of Shakespeare's play, set in the bright court of Athens, is completely omitted. Instead, ethereal string melodies usher the audience directly into the mystical world of the fairies. The fairy realm is given its own distinctive musical palette, featuring a coloratura soprano, a countertenor, and the voices of children. Here, not only do two young couples from Athenian nobility find themselves entangled in the sultry, midsummer realm of nature, presided over by the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Tytania, but they are also joined by a group of six craftsmen, gathered to rehearse a profoundly comedic tragedy for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta.

As Puck, the mischievous sprite, intervenes in this nocturnal gathering on behalf of Oberon, who is embroiled in a dispute with Tytania, the entire scene descends into chaos, culminating in wedding festivities and the performance of the craftsmen's hilarious comedy, Pyramus and Thisbe. Britten cleverly crafted this play-within-a-play as a satirical parody of the Italian opera genre.

Now, members of the International Opernstudio are poised to bring Britten's adaptation, first performed in his birthplace of Aldeburgh in 1960, to life on the stage of Theater Winterthur.

Die Walküre - The fall of 2023 marks the premiere of Götterdämmerung, bringing to a close the ambitious Zurich Ring des Nibelungen project. Under the masterful musical direction of General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and visionary production by Intendant and Stage Director Andreas Homoki, this monumental work by Richard Wagner is set to captivate audiences. In the spring of 2024, we are proud to present all four parts of Wagner's epic creation in a cycle, adhering to the composer's original intent.

Andreas Homoki's overarching concept for this monumental production revolves around the theme of returning to the source. The Ring des Nibelungen, at its core, narrates the epic tale of the birth and destruction of an entire world. Simultaneously, it delves deep into the familial saga of Wotan, the father of the gods, as he grapples with maintaining and breaking oaths, the struggle for freedom, and his desperate attempts to avert the very downfall he has set in motion.

Homoki's production intimately connects the characters of the Ring – gods, humans, and mythical beings – to the audience, elucidating their motivations and intricate relationships through meticulous character portrayal. This cyclical presentation of the complete Ring allows us to traverse the incredibly complex scenic and musical developments, unraveling the intricately woven tapestry of musical and narrative motifs across all four evenings.

An exciting facet of this production is that the same cast of performers portrays the characters throughout all four parts. Tomasz Konieczny embodies the enigmatic Wotan, Camilla Nylund embodies the resolute Brünnhilde, Christopher Purves personifies the cunning Alberich, Wolfgang Ablinger Sperrhacke portrays the conflicted Mime, and Klaus Florian Vogt takes on the role of the valiant Siegfried.

Siegfried - The autumn of 2023 heralds the premiere of Götterdämmerung, marking the culmination of the Zurich Ring des Nibelungen project. Under the expert baton of General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the visionary direction of Intendant and Stage Director Andreas Homoki, this monumental creation by Richard Wagner reaches its zenith. In the spring of 2024, we are thrilled to present all four segments of Wagner's grand cosmic narrative in a cycle, a presentation consistent with the composer's original vision.

Homoki's overarching concept for this monumental work centers on a return to origins. The Ring des Nibelungen is a profound saga, chronicling the genesis and ultimate dissolution of an entire universe. Concurrently, it unravels the familial drama of Wotan, the patriarch of the gods, as he grapples with the making and breaking of vows, the eternal struggle for freedom, and his desperate endeavors to avert the very cataclysm he set in motion.

Homoki's production forges an intimate connection between the characters of the Ring – deities, humans, and mythical beings – and the audience, elucidating their motivations and intricate interrelationships through precise character delineation. The cyclical performance of the complete Ring enables us to navigate the intricate scenic and musical developments, unraveling the densely woven fabric of musical and narrative motifs across all four evenings.

A particularly thrilling aspect of this production is that the same ensemble of performers embodies the characters throughout all four segments. Tomasz Konieczny embodies the enigmatic Wotan, Camilla Nylund embodies the resolute Brünnhilde, Christopher Purves personifies the cunning Alberich, Wolfgang Ablinger Sperrhacke takes on the role of the conflicted Mime, and Klaus Florian Vogt portrays the valiant Siegfried.

L'Orfeo - On the 24th of February 1607, a groundbreaking moment in the history of music occurred in Mantua. It was the premiere of "L'Orfeo," a musical fable composed by the local court maestro, Claudio Monteverdi. This performance, presented to an intimate gathering of courtly dignitaries, marked the dawn of a new era—the birth of opera as an art form. Monteverdi, the visionary composer, recognized the potential of music when it becomes an integral part of a dramatic narrative. Characters on the stage, within a dramatic context, were now able to externalize their innermost emotions like never before.

The central figure of Monteverdi's inaugural opera was Orpheus, the Thracian musician renowned for his extraordinary vocal talents. Orpheus, through his enchanting singing, possessed the power to move even inanimate objects, such as softening stone with his melodious voice. He embodied the essence of what this emerging art form aimed to achieve: the ability to transcend boundaries. On his quest to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, Orpheus utilized the transformative force of music to lull the ferryman Charon to sleep along the banks of the River Styx. This act allowed him to cross the threshold into the realm of the deceased. In this single scene, Monteverdi unveiled the utopian potential he ascribed to dramatic song.

The operas of Monteverdi hold a special place in the history of Opernhaus Zürich, dating back to the late 1970s when Nikolaus Harnoncourt played a pivotal role in the rediscovery of this Italian composer. His groundbreaking cycle of Monteverdi's works garnered global attention. As part of Andreas Homoki's artistic vision, the aim is to present Monteverdi's complete operatic works in innovative, musically-inspired productions. With this fresh interpretation of "L'Orfeo," the cycle, comprising three musical-dramatic works, complemented by Christian Spuck's choreographic rendition of the Eighth Madrigal, reaches its fulfillment.

Returning to lead the musical direction is the Italian conductor and harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone. For him, historically informed performance practice is not merely an academic exercise but a passionate embodiment of virtuosic musical artistry. The stage director for this production is Evgeny Titov, a highly esteemed figure in both the acting and opera realms. He made his debut at Opernhaus Zürich in the previous season with George Benjamin's contemporary opera, "Lessons in Love and Violence."

I vespri siciliani - The name "Sicilian Vespers" harks back to the violent massacre of Easter Monday in 1282 when Sicilians rose against their French occupiers, resulting in the death of thousands of Frenchmen. It's intriguing that Giuseppe Verdi and his librettist Eugène Scribe chose this historical conflict as the subject matter for Verdi's first operatic commission from the Paris Opera. This decision came on the heels of Verdi's recent success with "Rigoletto" in the same city. However, what captured Verdi's imagination was not the historical backdrop but rather the theme of unrequited love between the Sicilian Duchess Elena and Arrigo, a fighter for the resistance who discovers that the despised French leader is his own father.

Arrigo becomes torn between his love for Elena, his shared ideals with the insurgents, and his newfound family ties. In a pivotal moment, he decides to thwart the planned assassination of Guido de Montforte, the French leader. Consequently, the revolutionaries, including Elena, are apprehended. In a gesture for peace and to prevent further bloodshed, Montforte orders the marriage of Elena and Arrigo. However, Procida, a Sicilian physician and leader of the insurgents, designates their wedding bells as a signal to initiate a violent massacre, resulting in the death of both French and Sicilian individuals.

Following its 1855 premiere in Paris, "I vespri siciliani" was translated into Italian, and this version became an international sensation. The opera delves into themes that captivated Verdi throughout his career: the complex father-son relationship, the solitude of those in positions of power, and the inherent conflict between personal desires and public responsibilities. Croatian conductor Ivan Repušić leads the Philharmonia Zürich for the first time, while Calixto Bieito takes the directorial helm. Quinn Kelsey reprises his role as Montforte, with Maria Agresta and Sergey Romanovsky portraying the ill-fated couple at the heart of the drama.

Das Land des Lächelns - "Always smiling and always cheerful, always content, no matter what happens, smile despite your sorrows and a thousand aches and pains," Prince Sou-Chong sings, setting a melancholic tone for this operetta that ultimately ends in tragedy. The noble Viennese lady Lisa has fallen deeply in love with Prince Sou-Chong, a Chinese diplomat, and she follows him to Peking when he assumes the role of Chinese prime minister. However, their love story becomes a casualty of circumstance and irreconcilable differences.

"Das Land des Lächelns" belongs to Lehár's body of work from the interwar period, showcasing a distinct departure from the lighthearted Viennese operettas of the turn of the century. Despite this stylistic shift, Lehár achieved global success with his new sound, partly thanks to the enduring hit "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz." This beloved song, originally tailored to suit the voice of Lehár's favored tenor, Richard Tauber, remains cherished to this day.

In this Zurich revival, Piotr Beczała, a brilliant successor to Tauber, returns to perform the role of Sou-Chong, alongside Julia Kleiter as Lisa. Both are ideal interpreters for this demanding genre. Andreas Homoki, inspired by revue-style productions, has streamlined outdated dialogues to focus entirely on storytelling through music. British conductor Paul Daniel guides the audience through Lehár's grand score, which evokes the influences of Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

Turandot - The cruel Chinese princess Turandot has no desire to be bound to any man. She presents unsolvable riddles to all the suitors who seek her hand in marriage and orders their beheading if they fail to provide the correct answers. Only one will succeed in solving all her riddles and winning her heart.

When Giacomo Puccini embarked on adapting the ancient Eastern fairy tale of Princess Turandot into an opera in the early 1920s, his aim was to venture beyond the well-trodden paths of his previous operatic successes and create something truly innovative. This narrative offered him the opportunity to depart from the realism of his prior operas and explore a story of epic proportions with a distinctly mythical quality. The exotic backdrop of the tale allowed him to infuse his compositional style with entirely new hues.

However, Puccini encountered insurmountable difficulties towards the conclusion of the opera—specifically, the challenge of transforming the ice-cold princess into a passionate lover by the story's end. Faced with a writing crisis and battling throat cancer, Puccini passed away before completing the opera's finale. What remains is a magnificent yet paradoxically unfinished operatic fragment.

In this production directed by Sebastian Baumgarten, which premiered last season, we strive to contemporize the Chinese exoticism and the grandeur inherent in the opera's setting. For the pivotal roles of Turandot and Calaf, we have enlisted none other than the best in the field—Italian soprano Anna Pirozzi and Italian tenor Piero Pretti, both of whom rightfully claim their place among the finest performers in the business.

Andrea Chenier - "When soprano Anja Harteros made her role debut as Maddalena di Coigny in Munich in 2017, her performance garnered widespread acclaim for its meticulous attention to each and every syllable, its exploration of phrases for color, nuance, and dramatic depth," praised both audiences and critics alike. "Opernwelt" magazine even bestowed upon her the title of Singer of the Year. Following her triumphant performances as Maddalena in Vienna and Berlin, Anja Harteros now graces the stage of Opernhaus Zürich in Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier.

In a series of concert performances conducted by Marco Armiliato, Harteros shares the spotlight with the internationally renowned tenor, Yonghoon Lee. At the heart of this enthralling revolutionary drama is the historical figure of the young poet Andrea Chénier, who met his fate under the guillotine just three days before Robespierre's execution in 1794. Chénier begins as a fervent advocate of revolutionary ideals, but as the narrative unfolds, his love for the persecuted aristocrat Maddalena di Coigny places him under suspicion by the new regime.

This potent blend of human tragedy and political historical thriller, culminating in a tragic outcome, stands as Umberto Giordano's crowning achievement. The Italian verismo composer masterfully captures the ambiance of the French Revolution through a skillful interplay of voices and incorporation of hymns like the Marseillaise and the Carmagnole.