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Opernhaus Zürich

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Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
+41 44 268 66 66 www.opernhaus.ch/en

opernhaus zurich - Opernhaus Zürich

The history of Zurich Opera House begins with the “Actien-Theater” (shares theatre), which opened in 1834 with Mozart’s “Zauberflöte”. Zurich’s first permanent theatre, it was established in the form of a joint stock company by theatre-loving citizens. The joint stock company (today known as Opernhaus Zürich AG) still runs the institution, and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2009. The Canton of Zurich has been the main subsidiser since 1995.The old “Actien-Theater” burnt down in 1890 and was replaced by a new building designed by Fellner and Helmer. This theatre, located not far from Bellevue on Lake Zurich, was financed almost entirely by private means. It was inaugurated with Wagner’s “Lohengrin” under the name of “Stadttheater” (town theatre) in 1891. Musical theatre and drama have gone their separate ways in Zurich since 1921. The old “Stadttheater” has been known as the Opera House since 1964. Now with a seating capacity for approximately 1,100, the theatre was renovated entirely between 1982 and 1984, and an extension was added on Uto-Quai to accommodate a second, studio stage. In 1985 the opera orchestra was separated from the Tonhalle Orchestra, thus bringing the Philharmonia Zürich into being. Zurich Opera has had its own baroque ensemble (“La Scintilla”) since 1995, formed by members of the opera orchestra.

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January 2018

L’Heure espagnole / L’Enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel @Opernhaus Zürich

January 19 - February 1
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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n3d8do 300x200 - L’Heure espagnole / L’Enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel @Opernhaus Zürich

Maurice Ravel’s predilection for music boxes, musical automata and unusual clocks is well known –and is also apparent in his first, one-act opera, the musical comedy L’Heure espagnole. Ravel’s wealth of musical ideas is stunning; for example, when he brings the entire mechanical equipment of a watchmaker’s workshop to musical life in the overture. However, the shop becomes a completely different playground once the flamboyant Conception’s husband has left the house: she receives one lover after another. The lewd double entendres in…

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February 2018

Idomeno by Mozart @Opernhaus Zürich – New Production

February 4 - March 2
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - Idomeno by Mozart @Opernhaus Zürich - New Production

It is probably Mozart’s most personal work: Idomeneo, premièred in Munich in 1781. Mozart had not written any opera since his Salzburg production of Il Re Pastore of 1775, but now the sluice gates were open: no longer a child prodigy, just about to break away from his father and assert himself as a freelance musician, with Idomeneo Mozart wrote not only his most unconventional and musically substantial, but also his most profound opera score. Arguably, in no other of Mozart’s works for the stage…

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La scala di seta by Rossini @Opernhaus Zürich

February 9 - February 24
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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la gazza di seta opernhaus zurich 300x202 - La scala di seta by Rossini @Opernhaus Zürich

As its title suggests, a key element of this ludicrous early Rossini opera is a silken ladder. Night after night, it enables Giulia to give the man to whom she is secretly married access to her room. Her guardian is completely unaware of this and plans to marry Giulia to another man. The fact that three men use the silken ladder in the finale is just one of the unpleasant complications of this racy comedy. Director Damiano Michieletto presents the…

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Parsifal by Wagner @Opernhaus Zürich

February 25 - March 11
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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openhaus zurich photo suzanne schwiertz 300x198 - Parsifal by Wagner @Opernhaus Zürich

This revival of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal boasts an excellent cast: the title role will be sung by Brandon Jovanovich, who has already established himself as a Wagner specialist with his performances as Lohengrin and Walther von der Vogelweide in Meistersinger, and is now giving his role début as Parsifal. Furthermore, audiences can experience Nina Stemme, one of today’s most important Wagner singers, as Kundry, and look forward to the bass voice of Christof Fischesser in the role of Gurnemanz. Wagner’s valedictory work will…

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March 2018

Lunea by Hollinger @Opernhaus Zürich – World Premiere

March 4 - March 25
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - Lunea by Hollinger @Opernhaus Zürich - World Premiere

The poet Nikolaus Lenau is one of the most fascinating artistic personalities of the Romantic period. A dramatist, political intellectual, guitarist and violinist, as well as the most successful lyricist of the Biedermeier period, he was a highly talented polymath. Lenau led a restless, intense life informed by his love for a succession of women before becoming mentally deranged in 1844, remaining in psychiatric care until his death in 1850. His most passionate and almost lifelong love affair was with…

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Der fliegende Holländer by Wagner @Opernhaus Zürich

March 18 - March 31
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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foto tt fotografie toni suter tanja dorendorf 300x199 - Der fliegende Holländer by Wagner @Opernhaus Zürich

The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel, who is one of the world’s most sought-after singers, sang at Zurich Opera House for the first time five years ago. In his enthusiastically received début in Zurich, he interpreted the role of the Dutchman in Andreas Homoki’s new production. He can now be heard in the same role again in our theatre. In our revival, Senta will be sung by the Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund, a no less magnificent voice in the dramatic repertoire.…

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April 2018

Maria Stuarda by Donizetti @Opernhaus Zürich

April 8 - May 12
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - Maria Stuarda by Donizetti @Opernhaus Zürich

In Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda, there is a scene that holds a unique position in the bel canto repertoire of the 19th century: Queen Elizabeth I and her rival Mary Stuart stand opposite one another, hurling accusations and vitriolic insults. Historically, this scene never took place – the confrontation between the Scottish and the English monarchs is a stroke of genius from the pen of Friedrich Schiller. Gaetano Donizetti placed the fiery duel of the two queens at the heart…

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Luisa Miller by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

April 12 - April 29
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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luisa miller opernhaus zurich photo suzanne schwiertz 300x198 - Luisa Miller by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

Luisa Miller “It is a wonderful drama, full of passion and very effective in theatrical terms,” was Giuseppe Verdi’s opinion of Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love), when he decided to tackle a third opera based on a play by Friedrich Schiller. Verdi was primarily attracted to Schiller’s psychologically perspicacious view of the protagonists, as well as the inevitability with which the action hurtles towards its tragic conclusion: Rodolfo is wooing Luisa, daughter of an old soldier, Miller. However, both fathers oppose…

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May 2018

La finta giardiniera by Mozart @Opernhaus Zürich – New Production

May 5 - May 18
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - La finta giardiniera by Mozart @Opernhaus Zürich – New Production

After his first major successes with Mitridate and Lucio Silla in Italy, Mozart was commissioned to compose an opera for the Carnival in Munich at the age of 18. The libretto was, as was customary at the time, stipulated by the client: La finta giardiniera had been written by the experienced comedy writer Giuseppe Petrosellini. Audiences expected an opera buffa to contain burlesque scenes of confused identities and disguises, moments of surprising revelations, and parodistic, but also emotional numbers. The convoluted plot surrounds the gardener Sandrina,…

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Werther by Massenet @Opernhaus Zürich

May 10 - May 29
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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photo suzanne schwiertz wether opernhaus zurich 300x196 - Werther by Massenet @Opernhaus Zürich

The figure of Werther in Jules Massenet’s eponymous opera is one of the most poetic and expressive tenor roles in the French repertoire. In our revival of last season’s new production, Piotr Beczala will sing Werther under the direction of Tatjana Gürbaca. No tenor today is better qualified to perform this role. Based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous epistolary novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Jules Massenet created an opera full of ecstatic emotions and intimate characterisation. The plot centres around…

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Turandot by Puccini @Opernhaus Zürich

May 19 - June 3
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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foto judith schlosser turandot openhaus zurich 300x196 - Turandot by Puccini @Opernhaus Zürich

Giacomo Puccini’s last opera Turandot after Carlo Gozzi is set in a sinister, fairy-tale representation of China. Here, a repressive social order prevails, crystallised in Princess Turandot’s bloody ritual of vengeance: Turandot lures droves of suitors with her cold beauty and then delivers them to the executioner by means of unsolvable riddles. Until one day, the deposed king of the Tartars, Timur, his son Prince Calaf and the slave girl Liù appear. Calaf fearlessly takes on the cruel princess’s three riddles, solves…

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La forza del destino by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

May 27 - June 28
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - La forza del destino by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

“The world has gone mad. What times are these?” This sentence uttered by Fra Melitone, the grouchy monk from La forza del destino (The Power of Destiny), could be programmatic for Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, which was premièred in 1861. Indeed, in this musical drama, the world is very much out of joint. The almost 50-year-old Verdi sketched a merciless portrait of a broken society in this colossal melodrama; a society wracked by war, in which love, affection and compassion only fleetingly brighten…

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June 2018

L’Incoronazione de Poppea By Monteverdi @Opernhaus Zürich

June 24 - July 12
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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opernhaus zurich 300x181 - L'Incoronazione de Poppea By Monteverdi @Opernhaus Zürich

Written 370 years ago at the very dawn of operatic history, L’incoronazione di Poppea has remained a highlight in the operatic genre to this day, portraying modern human beings whose vanities, passions and darker sides are by no means far removed from our own. Poppea was the first of Monteverdi’s operas in which, rather than a mythological tale, he chose a historical, surprisingly amoral subject matter – which could certainly have been interpreted as a criticism of his own time. He was, however, less interested…

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July 2018

Carmen by Bizet @Opernhaus Zürich

July 1 - July 14
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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carmen opernhaus zurich photo judith schlosser 300x197 - Carmen by Bizet @Opernhaus Zürich

She has long since become a legend: Carmen, the gypsy girl who ultimately pays for her love of freedom with her life. At the Paris première in 1875, the audience was reserved, indeed shocked at the earthy realism of Bizet’s opera. Aggressively sensual, Carmen takes a stand that went considerably further than permitted by the period’s narrow confines of bourgeois “good taste.” Yet only the première in Vienna was to usher in the work’s triumphal progress, which remains unbroken to…

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La Traviata by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

July 6 - July 15
Opernhaus Zürich, Falkenstrasse 1
Zürich, 8008 Switzerland
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la traviata opernhaus zurich photo tt fotografie toni suter tanja dorendorf 300x197 - La Traviata by Verdi @Opernhaus Zürich

“Amore e morte” – love and death – was the originally intended title of Verdi’s La traviata. It is indeed these two poles between which Violetta’s tragic story unfolds: beautiful, clever and universally desired, but mortally ill, she lives as a courtesan for the thrill of the moment. She does not permit herself real emotions and believes that great love is a utopian ideal. Until, one day, she encounters Alfredo: with him she wants to start a new life, far away…

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