Adela Zaharia, Linda Watson & Karine Babajanyan Lead Deutsche Oper Am Rhein’s 2018-19 Seson

By Francisco Salazar

The Deutsche Oper am Rhein has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring 10 new productions and a number of rising stars.

The season will also include a number of opera favorites, rarely performed works, and modern masterpieces. Here is a look.


Suzanne Andrade and Esme Appleton direct a new double bill featuring Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” and Ravel’s “L’Enfant et Les Sortileges.” Tiago Alexandre Fonseca, Pauliina Räsänen, Slava Volkov, Maria Kataeva, and Kimberley Boettger-Soller star in the double bill. Lukas Beikircher and Marc Piollet conduct.

Performance Dates: Oct. 13, 2018 – Dec. 11, 2018

Linda Watson and Heike Wessels share the role of Brünhilde in Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” with Michael Weinius and Corby Welch sharing Siegfried. Hans-Peter King and Sami Luttinen share the role of Hagen and Katarzyna Kuncio takes on Waltraute. Dietrich W. Hilsdorf directs the new production with Axel Kober conducting.

Performance Dates: Oct. 27, 2018 – June 23, 2019

Michael Thalheimer directs a new production of Verdi’s “Otello” with Gustavo Porta and Zoran Todorovich sharing the title role. Simon Neal and Boris Statsenko alternate the role of Iago while Brigitta Kele and Jacquelyn Wagner share the role of Desdemona. Antonino Fogliani and Axel Kober conduct.

Performance Dates: Nov. 15, 2018 – May 4, 2019

Axel Köhler directs a new production of Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” with Norbert Ernst and Anke Crab in the lead roles. Benjamin Reiners conducts the production which also stars Kimberley Boettger-Soller and Ovidiu Purcel.

Performance Dates: Dec. 8, 2018 – June 20, 2019

Adela Zaharia takes on the title role in Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda.” Guy Joosten directs the new production with Maria Kataeva and Andrey Dunaev also starring. Lukas Beikircher and Antonino Fogliani alternate in the pit.

Performance Dates: Dec. 19, 2018 -Feb. 9, 2019

Dietrich W. Hilsdorf directs Wagner’s “Siegfried” with Corby Welch and Michael Weinius sharing the title role. Heike Wessels and Linda Watson share the role of Brunnhilde while Axel Kober conducts.

Performance Dates: Jan 26, 2019 – June 20, 2019

Anno Schreier’sToo Bad That She Was Whore” gets a new production by David Hermann. Bogdan Talos, Richard Šveda, Günes Gürle, Sergey Khomov, Jussi Myllys, Florian Simson, David Jerusalem, Sami Luttinen, Lavinia Dames, Sarah Ferede, and Susan Maclean star. Lukas Beikircher conducts.

Performance Dates: Feb. 16, 2019 – March 17, 2019

Luiza Fatyol and Ovidiu Purcel sing Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” in a new production Philipp Western Turkey. David Crescenzi conducts the production which also stars Maria Boiko and Bogdan Talos.

Performance Dates: March 30, 2019 – May 26, 2019

Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” gets a new production by Lydia Steier. Sergey Polyakov and Sergey Khomov share the demanding role of Hermann while Elizabeth Strid sings Lisa. Alexander Krasnov and Stefan Heidemann share the role of Tomsky and Hanna Black is the Countess.

Performance Dates: May 25, 2019 – July 14, 2019

The final new production will be of James Reynolds’ “Geisterritter” directed by Erik Petersen. Patrick Francis Chestnut conducts an ensemble cast that includes David Fischer, Cornel Frey, Monika Rydz, Anke Crab, Marta Márquez, and David Jerusalem.

Performance Dates: June 19, 2019 – July 10, 2019


Marius Felix Lange’s “The Snow Queen” opens the season with Adela Zaharia, Elisabeth Selle, Roman Hoza, and Dmitri Vargin. Ville Enckelmann conducts.

Performance Dates: Sept. 12, 2018 – Dec. 9, 2018

Ael Kober conducts a revival of Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade’s production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote.” Bogdan Talos, Sami Luttinen, Thorsten Grumbel, Jussi Myllys, Ovidiu Purcel, Bernhard Berchtold, Svetlana Moskalenko, Antonina Vesenina, Anke Crab, Lavinia Dames, and Heidi Elisabeth Meier star.

Performance Dates: Sept. 20, 2018 – June 10, 2019

Luiza Fatyol and Adela Zaharia share the title role of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” Ovidiu Purcel, Alexey Neklyudov, and Rame Lahaj sing Alfredo while Lucio Gallo and Laimonas Pautienius sing Germont. Antonino Fogliani and David Crescenzi alternate in the pit.

Performance Dates: Sept. 14, 2018 – May 16, 2019

Gabriela Scherer and Michael Full sing the lead roles in Strauss’ “Arabella.” Axel Kober conducts.

Performance Dates: Sept. 21, 2018 – Oct. 03, 2018

Richard Šveda, Laimonas Pautienius, Sylvia Hamvasi, Anna Princeva, Heidi Elisabeth Meier, Lavinia Dames, Torben Jürgens, Bogdan Talos, and Kimberley Boettger-Soller lead the ensemble of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”

Performance Dates: Sept. 23, 2018 – Dec. 18, 2018

Morenike Fadayomi sings the title role in Puccini’s “Tosca” with Eduardo Aladrén and Najmiddin Mavlyanov sharing the role of Cavaradossi. James Rutherford and Alexander Krasnov alternate as Scarpia while Antonino Fogliani, David Crescenzi, and Aziz Shokhakimov share conducting duties.

Performance Dates: Sept. 29, 2018 – April 05, 2019

Boris Statsenko sings the title role of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with Ovidiu Purcel, Adela Zaharia and Luiza Fatyol.

Performance Dates: Sept. 30, 2018 – Oct. 21, 2018

Adela Zaharia and Heidi Elisabeth Meier alternate the role of Kostanze in Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” Stefan Klingele conducts the revival.

Performance Dates: Oct. 13, 2018 – Nov. 14, 2018

The popular double bill “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” returns to the stage. Zoran Todorovich is Canio in “Pagliacci,” while Sergey Khomov and Najmiddin Mavlyanov share the role of Turiddu in “Cavalleria Rusticana.” They are joined by Ramona Zaharia, Luiza Fatyol, and Morenike Fadayomi.

Performance Dates: Oct. 31, 2018 – Feb. 17, 2019

Maria Kataeva and Juan José de León sing the lead roles in Rossini’s bel canto favorite “La Cenerentola.” Antonino Fogliani leads the brilliant comedy.

Performance Dates: Nov. 3, 2018 – March 7, 2019

Adrian Sampetrean sings the title role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” with Olesya Golovnaeva, Ibrahim Yesilay, Sami Luttinen, Luiza Fatyol, Bogdan Talos and Torben Jürgens.

Performance Dates: Nov. 17, 2018 – Dec. 21, 2018

The Deutsche Oper am Rhein rings in the holiday season with Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” Katarzyna Kuncio and Anna Harvey share the role of Gretel while Sibylla Duffe, Lavinia Dames, and Anke Crab alternate Gretel.

Performance Dates: Nov. 30, 2018 – Dec. 29, 2018

Valer Sabadus, Terry Wey, Katarina Bradic, Torben Jürgens, Heidi Elisabeth Meier, Anke crab,  and Hagen Matzeit lead Handel’s “Semele” under the musical direction of Konrad Junghäne.

Performance Dates: Jan. 17-31, 2019

Rolando Villazón’s production of Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” returns with Paolo Bordogna and Günes Gürle in the title role. Elena Sancho Pereg and Lavinia Dames share the role of Norina while Ibrahim Yesilay is Ernesto.

Performance Dates: Jan 18, 2019 – July 4, 2019

Olvier Knussen’s “Where the Wild Guys Live” returns with Jesse Wong conducting.

Performance Dates: Jan. 24, 2019 – April 7, 2019

Strauss’ “Ariadne Auf Naxos” is set to star Karine Babajanyan and Linda Watson in the title role. Corby Welch and Daniel Frank star as Bacchus, while Gloria Rehm and Heidi Elisabeth Meier take on Zerbinetta.

Performance Dates: Feb 15, 2019 – June 2, 2019

Sergio Vitale sings the title role in Verdi’s “Falstaff”  with Bogdan Baciu, Ibrahim Yesilay, Sylvia Hamvasi, and Elena Sancho Pereg. David Crescenzi conducts.

Performance Dates: Feb. 24, 2019 – April 3, 2019

Boris Statsenko, Svetlana Sozdateleva, Renée Morloc, and Susan Maclean lead the cast of Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel.” Kimbo Ishii conducts.

Performance Dates: March 9, 2019 – March 31, 2019

Liana Aleksanyan takes on the title role of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” with Eduardo Aladren as Pinkerton.

Performance Dates: April 21, 2019 – July 8, 2019

Bogdan Talos, Eduardo Aladren, Bogdan Baciu, Hans Peter King, Olesya Golovnaeva, Ramona Zaharia, and Sarah Ferede star in Verdi’s “Don Carlo.” Nicholas Carter conducts.

Performance Dates: May 10, 2019 – July 5, 2019

Axel Kober conducts “Rheingold” with an all-star ensemble that includes Simon Neal, James Rutherford, Katarzyna Kuncio, Renée Morloc, Michael Kraus, Stefan Heidemann, Norbert Ernst, and Raymond Very.

Performance Dates: May 23, 2019 – June 13, 2019

Wagner’s “Die Walküre” is set to star Simon Neal and James Rutherford as Wotan. Linda Watson and Heike Wessels sing Brunnhilde while Sarah Ferede and Elisabeth Strid are Sieglinde. Michael Weinius and Corby Welch sing Siegmund and Katarzyna Kuncio and Renée Morloc portray Fricka.

Performance Dates: May 26, 2019 – June 16, 2019