Welcome to the 2013/2014 season

Intendant Bernd Loebe
On April 22nd 2013 Oper Frankfurt was voted best Opera Company in the World at the first International Opera Awards inaugurated by Opera magazine and the businessman Harry Hyman. The four other companies which reached the final round were the Theater an der Wien, the Opera de Lyon, the Staatsoper in Stuttgart and the Stanislawski Opera in Moscow.
    More good news: box office over the year averaged just under 90% (as of the end of April) and the number of subscription holders last season rose to 12,280. It was not just the Ring cycles that were cheered to the rafters, the far less well known Spieler/Gambler sold out too. The bonds between the theatre and its public are getting stronger and stronger. Many people speak to me during intervals in the foyer to say how much they enjoy what we put on and how glad they are that they are able to »rely« on such an opera house. The Städtische Bühnen - Opera AND Schauspiel – have never been as successful as they are now. Just talk to members of our audiences. Maybe it is because the media seem to think that our lives are only reliant on the rise and fall of share indexes that more and more people feel the need to escape to the theatre.
    This season five operas are being performed for the first time, ever, in Frankfurt, one a world premiere. I look forward to seeing the results of productions directed by Brigitte Fassbaender: Ariadne auf Naxos, the unmistakable signature of Hans Neuenfels in Oedipe, David Alden’s wit in Die diebische Elster/The Thieving Magpie, another new Christof Loy Mozart opera: Don Giovanni and the theatre esprit of Keith Warner in Falstaff. A younger generation is represented by Jim Lucassen (Rusalka), Walter Suttcliff (Die Gesepenstersonate/The Ghost Sonata), Florentine Klepper (Orpheus), Eva-Maria Höckmayr (Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe/A Village Romeo and Juliet) and Elisabeth Stöppler (Der goldene Drache/The Golden Dragon). Vincent Boussard will direct Ezio to celebrate Gluck’s 300th birthday.
    The house profits enormously from the meticulous preparatory work and evenings conducted by its music boss, Sebastian Weigle. The orchestra is – we are completely justified in saying – one of the best in Europe. Bertrand de Billy, our new »Principal Guest Conductor« (until 2018!), heads the list of other guests this season: Christian Curnyn, Alexander Liebreich, Carlo Franci, Marc Soustrot, Henrik Nánási, Titus Engel, Paul Daniel, Giuliano Carella, Constantin Trinks, Constantinos Carydis, Leo Hussain, Sian Edwards, Maurizio Barbacini, Stefan Blunier, Pier Giorgio Morandi and Johannes Debus.
    Some key members of our ensemble are leaving, of their own choice, (Elza van den Heever, Christiane Karg, Alfred Kim and Frank van Aken); and exciting new singers are joining it (Karen Vuong, Sofia Fomina, Andreas Bauer and Björn Bürger). Some of the other wonderful guest artists have to be mentioned here: Amanda Majeski, Max Emanuel Cenčić, Sonia Prina, Artur Ruciński, Angela Meade, Johan Botha and Sophie Bevan, a »rising star« from England. Look through the casts! There are interesting discoveries to be made. We are keeping in touch with those who are leaving, for personal reasons: and all will be coming back!
    There are revivals of wonderful productions and a work that has been neglected in Frankfurt for decades: a masterpiece by Frederick Delius: it is not often that you get the chance to hear how this Englishman with German roots, but resident in France, interwove Gottfried Keller’s novel Romeo and Juliet with his shimmering, tender, pulsating music.
    Putting this season on would have been impossible without support from the City of Frankfurt, neither would the impressive number of popular projects run by the company for children and young people. I thank the Patronatsverein, our sponsors, all the people who work here, the chorus, orchestra and technical department. All those behind the scenes who organise and make what we do possible. I don’t think there can be a friendlier group of people working front of house as there is in ours. A book comes out in the autumn celebrating 50 years of the Städtische Bühnen – might be an idea for a christmas present for some of your German speaking friends! Carry on getting out at Willy Brandt Platz station, even though the voice in the trains no longer tells you where to get off for the theatres in favour of the European Central Bank. Even if part of the theatre is hidden by scaffolding or the Hessische Runfunk review a recital in the Alte Oper that actually took place in our theatre. Even when the Intendant has to correct statements like »Oh, the opera is where the Schauspiel is?« with: »there is an opera house next door to the Schauspiel house!« Even though taxi drivers still drive guest singers to the Alte Oper instead of to us we are here – you can find us!

I hope you enjoy the new season.

Dear audience,

I welcome you, most warmly, to the 2013/14 season and hope to encourage you to look through this website further by giving you a short glimpse of what is on offer this season.
    The first new production is Dvořák’s best known opera: Rusalka. It is not only the through-composed form of the work that is reminiscent of Richard Wagner’s great operas – the playful, teasing scene at the beginning between the elves and Water Man is not dissimilar in content with Wagner’s Rheingold, and the practical jokes his Rhine Maidens play on Alberich, the Schwarzalb (black elf). I am sure that it is Dvořák’s unique variety of melodies which he gives, in particular, to the title heroine and her prince that makes his Rusalka one of the most often performed works in Czech »operatic repertoire«. »What then is music? Music is a holy art, bringing together brave men, like cherubim around a gleaming throne – and that is why it is the most holy of the arts, holy music!« says »The Composer«, in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, with its strictly separated buffo and serious sections, to set the mood for the performance of his opera in the opera. My third new production is a »debut« for me at Oper Frankfurt - Don Giovanni is my first new production of a Mozart opera in the house, and the work itself is also new territory for me. I am looking forward to gaining insights into this incredibly important opera which plays with two sides of a coin, opera seria and buffa. I also look forward very much to working again with Christof Loy and the wonderful Christian Gerhaher, singing his first ever Giovanni, in Frankfurt.
    You will quickly be able to find other treats this season. I am particularly excited about the many works being performed in Frankfurt for the first time, including George Enescu’s Oedipe, directed by Hans Neuenfels, Aribert Reimann’s Gespenstersonata/Ghost Sonata - and the world premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Der goldene Drache/The Golden Dragon, conducted by the composer.
    I hope this has stimulated your desire for more opera in Frankfurt, where you will always be made most welcome.

I wish you many exciting evenings in our house
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Richard Strauss
Wednesday 01.01.2014 18:00 h
Opera House

next new production:

Rolf Riehm
Sunday 14.09.2014 18:00 h
Opera House


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