Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2024-25

Elisabeth Sobotka and Christian Thielemann, the new artistic director and new general music director at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2024/25, present their first season at the opera house.

Elisabeth Sobotka and Christian Thielemann

The future artistic director at Staatsoper Unter den Linden Elisabeth Sobotka and the future general music director Christian Thielemann presented their programme for their first joint season 2024/25 and look forward to working together.

The programme is intended to entice, motivate, inspire, and entertain. Opera has fascinated me with its variety and its power ever since my very first encounter with the art form. For me, there is nothing more moving and inspiring than a successful night at the opera. And there are myriad ways and possibilities to keep this fascination alive. One thing is essential: quality. And there’s no lack of that here,’ according to Elisabeth Sobotka.

She continues: ‘We haven’t chosen a particular motto for the season. But if there were a common thread, a recurring theme, it would be this: beware simple truths!

Welcome to Berlin and to the Staatsoper, Christian Thielemann!

In their very brief joint time together preparing the next season, Elisabeth Sobotka and Christian Thielemann have succeeded in bringing an impressive programme together for Thielemann’s start as general music director. Thielemann will be conducting the orchestra during the coming season at three subscription concerts, each performed twice, two concerts to mark the New Year, an opera premier, an open-air concert as part of ‘Staatsoper für Alle,’ and two guest performances of the orchestra in Brno and Vienna. With his very first concerts in October 2024, the general music director will have his eye on the young audience. With U30 for the first time a new format at the Staatsoper that is intended to offer under 30-year-olds the possibility of attending public rehearsals of select concerts.

I am very pleased that, despite the short time available, Elisabeth Sobotka and I were able to plan a wonderful programme for our first season together. I am especially looking forward to the premiere of Die schweigsame Frau, an opera that I have never conducted before. It is very important to me to bring the extensive repertoire of Richard Strauss, many years the conductor at the Staatsoper, closer to the audience,’ in the words of Christian Thielemann.

Premieres: A total of eight premieres will be performed on the stage of the Staatsoper this season beginning with two great through-composed operas.

On October 2, 2024, Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, which hasn’t been performed at the opera house in decades, will be presented in a production by director Emma Dante with the orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Luca Salsi will sing the title role and Anna Netrebko will play the part of Abigaille.

On November 10, 2024, Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette will be performed. Last performed at the opera house Unter den Linden one hundred years ago, this production will be staged by Mariame Clément and conducted by Stefano Montanari.

For the first time in Berlin, the only opera by one of the most important contemporary composers will be performed: Fin de partie by György Kurtág. At the start of 2025, the only opera by one of the most important contemporary composers will premiere on January 12: Fin de partie by György Kurtág (who will turn 100 in 2026), directed by Johannes Erath with Alexander Soddy at the podium.

On February 14, 2025, a project that is particularly important for Elisabeth Sobotka will be coming to the stage of the main hall. Der Freischütz für Kinder by Carl Maria von Weber. There is increasingly little time for musical subjects in schools today. Here, the Staatsoper as an institution would like to help to enable contact for children with music and the opera and theatre, while at the same time doing so in a way that shows true quality. The goal is to make it possible for every schoolchild in Berlin to attend a performance at the Staatsoper without the involvement of the parents and well prepared for the experience. Important for children are tasks that allow them to participate and comprehensive pedagogical material. This material is offered to interested teachers at workshops and made available for them to prepare the children for the performance.

In the satirical opera The Excursions of Mr Brouček, Leoš Janáček was able to further develop his advanced musical language and to enrich it with ambiguous comedy. This production is being directed by Canadian director Robert Carsen and will feature Sir Simon Rattle at the podium. This is a coproduction with the Brno National Theater (as part of the Janáček Festival) and Madrid’s Teatro Real. The premiere will take place on March 16, 2025.

Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma is considered the epitome of a bel canto opera. It will be performed on April 13, 2025 directed by Vasily Barkhatov and conducted by Francesco Lanzillotta with Rachel Willis-Sørensen in the title role.

The German premiere of Bernard Foccroulle’s Cassandra on June 20, 2025 will show that a new opera can not only deal with a contemporary subject, but can also stand out with a filmic stage concept by Marie-Eve Signeyrole that has an explicitly contemporary vision.

A highlight of the season will be the last premiere performed in 2025: on July 19, Richard Straussʼs Die schweigsame Frau based on a libretto by Stefan Zweig will be conducted by Christian Thielemann. This opera will be staged by Jan Philipp Gloger, equally experienced in both theatre and the opera, and played for the first time at Staatsoper Unter den Linden. The audience can look forward to work that is magnificent in its use of language and musically inspiring conversation piece, with challenges for the orchestra.

Festtage 2025 (April 11–April 19): To mark the start of Festtage next spring, Joyce DiDonato will be performing Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, followed by a new production of Bellini’s Norma, which will be presented at the Staatsoper alongside Wagner’s Parsifal, conducted by Philippe Jordan and with Elina Garanča as Kundry. The Festtage concert of the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Philharmonie will be a homage to Pierre Boulez, born one hundred years ago, featuring works by Alban Berg, Gustav Mahler, and Pierre Boulez himself conducted by Simone Young with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist.

The Staatsoper will also be presenting the contemporary composer Brigitta Muntendorf with two notable projects: Melencolia – Eine Show gegen die Gleichgültigkeit des Universums in March 2025 at Haus der Berliner Festspiele and Orbit – A War Series, a space oratorio for AI-voice clone, 3D-audio and electronics in April 2025 at Humboldt Forum.

In her compositions, Brigitta Muntendorf brings together analog, digital, and electronic forms of expression in large-scale projects, combining opera and 3D audio. She uses the word ‘referentiality’ to describe her principle of composition, thus focusing on familiar and unusual references, but also very unusual and especially very contemporary ones.

Concerts: The heart of the concert activities of the Staatskapelle Berlin, the series subscription concerts, will be moving into its 183rd season. The eight double dates at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Philharmonie will once again feature excellent artists and a demanding programme in the 2024/25 season. Three of these concerts will be conducted by Christian Thielemann, who will be dedicating himself to substantial works by Mendelssohn and Schoenberg, Henze, and Bruckner as well as Liszt und Strauss along with Samy Moussa’s Elysium the music of a young composer of the twenty-first century. Paavo Järvi and Thomas Guggeis return this year to the Staatskapelle, while with Susanna Mälkki and Petr Popelka, two younger conductors can be experienced for the first time as part of large subscription concerts with the orchestra. Two concerts performed by the Staatskapelle will be a special ‘welcome back’ for maestro Daniel Barenboim, after having served as their conductor for over three decades.

Concerts to Ring in the New Year: Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle, and top notch soloists will ring in the New Year with catchy rhythms and unforgettable melodies, performing music from sound film and theatre of the Weimar period will be performed, including pieces by Kurt Weill, Werner Richard Heymann, and Friedrich Hollaender, on December 31, 2024 and January 1, 2025.

Staatsoper für alle: As part of Staatsoper für alle, Christian Thielemann will be conducting an open-air concert with the Staatskapelle Berlin at Bebelplatz on June 22, 2025 featuring works by Johannes Brahms. As always, free admission thanks to the support of BMW.

Staatskapelle on the Road: Not just in Berlin, the Staatskapelle will also be performing but also in Lucerne, Cologne, Brno, and Vienna in the upcoming season. The season will begin with guest performances at Lucerne Festival and Cologne’s Philharmonie with the conductor Susanna Mälkki and outstanding soloists, in November the orchestra will perform the Staatsoper production of The Makropulos Case at the Janáček festival in Brno with Christian Thielemann. And, to conclude the season, the Staatskapelle will perform at the Vienna Musikverein with music by Strauss and Bruckner, again conducted by Christian Thielemann.

Repertoire: A total of 21 Repertoire productions will be performed at the main hall of the Staatsoper, including: The Makropulos Case (Guth), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Guth), Die Zauberflöte (Everding), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Moses), Carmen (Kušej), Der Rosenkavalier (Heller), Elektra (Chéreau), Le nozze di Figaro (Flimm), Rusalka (Mundruczó), Idomeneo (McVicar), Simon Boccanegra (Tiezzi), Parsifal (Tcherniakov), Les pêcheurs de perles (Wenders), Der fliegende Holländer (Stölzl), Il trovatore (Stölzl), Sacre (Waltz), La traviata (Dorn).

The complete programme can be found by CLICKING HERE, including performances of the Junge Staatsoper for the 2024/25 season. The main partner for the children and youth programme at Staatsoper Unter den Linden is the Hilti Foundation, Liechtenstein as part of their funding focus Community Arts & Culture.

Dates, Advanced Sales, Staatsoper Unter den Linden:
Standard advance sales: Subscriptions 2024/25: Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 12pm
Priority advance sales: For members of the Föderverein, subscribers and holders of a Staatsoper card for all performances during the 2024/25 season, including 2025: Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 12pm.
All performances during 2024/25 season including Festtage 2025: Sat., June 22, 2024, 12pm

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