Start of the 2011/12 Season at the Bavarian State Opera
With Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach's opéra fantastique is returning to the stage of the National Theatre on 31 October after 23 years. The production by Richard Jones, who is known to Munich audiences partly from his interpretation of Wagner's Lohengrin, focuses on the role of the artist in society and his often problematic creative process. The opera will be conducted by Constantinos Carydis, one of the younger generation of conductors today. The part of Hoffmann will be played by the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón. Diana Damrau will be back on the stage of the National Theatre again after her break to have a baby, representing all Hoffmann's lovers in the form of Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia and Stella. Ensemble member Angela Brower will be singing the part of the Muse/Niklausse, and John Relyea will play the four villains.
The Spanish theatre group La Fura dels Baus is appearing before Munich audiences on 3 December with its interpretation of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot. The fairytale of the ice-cold, beautiful princess and the brave Prince Calaf will be returning to the stage of the National Theatre after a break of some 10 years. Zubin Mehta, one of the most important conductors of our time, will be conducting the new production. Jennifer Wilson is making her debut at the Bavarian State Opera as the unscrupulous Asian Princess Turandot. The young Russian singer, Ekaterina Scherbachenko, is also appearing for the first time in the National Theatre as Liù. Marco Berti is taking on the role of Calaf, and the Ukrainian Alexander Tsymbalyuk will be appearing as Timur, King of Tartary.
Concert – 200 Years of the Musical Academy
After its tour of Japan (23 September to 10 October), the Bavarian State Orchestra will be starting its 2011/2012 season with the OktoberMusikFest. For ten days, the musicians will be tackling the subject of Life – Creation – Energy. In cooperation with the Max Planck Society, each of the concerts, the programmes for which are based on the concept of energy, will be accompanied by a lecture by famous scientists. The focus will be on aspects of the world of energy and energy research. The curtain-raiser to the OktoberMusikFest will be the 1st Academy Concert in the National Theatre on 10 October. The programme will include works by Joseph Haydn, Antonín Dvořák, Johann Sebastian Bach, Edward Elgar and Maurice Ravel. David Schultheiss, the first concert master of the Bavarian State Orchestra, will conduct the orchestra in the National Theatre.
The Bavarian State Orchestra will be starting the festivities for the 200th anniversary of the Musical Academy with two Founding Concerts. Two concerts, on 6 November and 6 December, will also mark the birth of the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian State Orchestra.
The two Anniversary Concerts on 9 and 11 December will feature the works of the first Musical Academy concert on 9 December 1811. Under the baton of Kent Nagano, works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Carl Maria von Weber, Luigi Cherubini and a specially commissioned work by Jörg Widmann will be performed.
From 9 October, the popular repertoire classic Carmen will be back on the programme, with mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova playing the title role for the first time in Munich. November brings a reunion with Beethoven's Fidelio, in which Peter Seiffert takes on the role of Florestan in Calixto Bieito's production. Leonore will be sung by Anja Kampe, and the opera will be conducted by Zubin Mehta. The programme in November will also include three family performances of Ravel's L’Enfant et les sortilèges. As at the premiere, General Musical Director Kent Nagano will be conducting the Bavarian State Orchestra. In December, there will be two more debuts in The Magic Flute: baritone Christian Gerhaher will be playing Papageno for the first time in the National Theatre, and Julia Kleiter will be making her house debut as Pamina.
As is traditional, the Bavarian State Ballet will be appearing at the start of the season in the Prince Regent Theatre. The season will open with the Petipa classic Don Quixote and Mats Ek's version of Giselle. The first premiere will follow on 22 December: in line with the season's motto Very British!?, the National Theatre programme will include choreographies by Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan.