Brenda Rae, Jakub Józef Orliński & Malin Byström To Be Featured In Oper Frankfurt’s 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

Oper Frankfurt has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring 14 new productions, a number of revivals and recitals. The season will feature a number of Frankfurt premieres and one world premiere.

Here is a look at what to expect.

New Productions

Peter Eötvös ‘s “Tri sestry” gets its first Frankfurt performances in a new production by Dorothea Kirschbaum. The unique opera, which requires one orchestra on stage and a smaller one in the pit, will be conducted by Dennis Russell Davies and Nikolai Petersen. Countertenors Vince Yi, Dmitry Egorov, and Ray Chenez take on the lead roles.

Performance Dates: Sept. 9-Oct. 3, 2018

Yuval Sharon directs a new production of Olga Neuwirth and Elfriede Jelinek’s “Lost Highway.” The production will mark the opera’s German premiere with John Brancy, Elizabeth Reiter, Hugo Armstrong, and David Moss performing lead roles. Markus Noisternig, and Gilbert Nouno will perform electronics, while Karsten Januschke will conduct.

Performance Dates: Sept. 12-23, 2018 

Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” receives its Frankfurt premiere in a double bill with Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex.” Asmik Grigorian sings the title role in “Iolanta” with AJ Glueckert and Gary Griffiths. Meanwhile, Peter Marsh and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner lead Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio. Sebastian Weigle and Nikolai Petersen conduct.

Performance Dates: Oct. 28-Dec. 1, 2018

Verdi’s “Il Corsaro” receives its Frankfurt premiere in concert performances, with Francesco Lanzillotta conducting. Mario Chang leads the cast, which also stars Željko Lučić, Roberta Mantegna, Dorothea Röschmann, and Brandon Cedel.

Performance Dates: Nov. 7-9, 2018

Brenda Rae and Zuzana Marková share the lead role in Bellini’s “I Puritani” in a new production by Vincent Boussard. John Osborn, Iurii Samoilov, and Thomas Faulkner also star. Tito Ceccherini conducts.

Performance Dates: Dec. 2, 2018-Jan. 18, 2019

Michelle Bradley leads Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” in a new production by Tobias Kratzer. Jader Bignamini and Gaetano Soliman share conducting duties in a cast that also includes Christopher Maltman, Evez Abdulla, Franz-Josef Selig, Wookyung Kim, and Arsen Sogomonyan.

Performance Dates:  Jan. 27-Feb. 28 2019; May 18-26, 2019

Oper Frankfurt will present the world premiere of “Mina,” an opera written by Uwe Dierksen and young musicians who have met every weekend at Oper Frankfurt since February 2018 to compose, research, write, make music and rehearse. Uwe Dierksen will conduct the opera in a production by Ute M. Engelhardt.

Performance Dates: Feb. 2-6 2019

Florentine Klepper directs a new production of Smetana’s rarely performed “Dalibor.” Conductor Stefan Soltesz leads a cast that includes Aleš Briscein in the title role, Thomas Faulkner, Gordon Bintner, and Izabela Matuła.

Performance Dates: Feb. 24-March 30, 2019

Franz Schreker’s “Der ferne Klang” gets a new production by Damiano Michieletto. Sebastian Weigle and Florian Erdl share the pit leading Magnús Baldvinsson, Barbara Zechmeister, Jennifer Holloway, and Ian Koziara in the lead roles.

Performance Dates: March 31-May 11, 2019

Lucy Crowe sings the title role in Handel’s “Rodelinda” in a new production by Claus Guth. Andrea Marcon conducts a cast that also includes Andreas Scholl, Martin Mitterrutzner, Katharina Magiera, and Jakub Józef Orliński.

Performance Dates: May 12-June 8, 2019

Lukasz Goliński takes the title role in Szymanowski’s “Król Roger” with Sydney Mancasola, Gerard Schneider, and AJ Glueckert. Sylvain Cambreling leads a new production by Johannes Erath.

Performance Dates: June 2-29, 2019

A new double bill will grace the stage with Bruno Maderna’s “Satyricon” and Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Medium.” Both opera will be receiving their Frankfurt premieres in new productions by Nelly Danker and Hans Walter Richter. Conductors Simone Di Felice and Nikolai Petersen lead the works with Meredith Arwady singing both operas. Cardiff Winner Louise Alder stars in ‘The Medium” while Peter Marsh stars in “Satyricon.

Performance Dates: June 15-29, 2019 


Verdi’s “Otello” opens the season with Roberto Saccà taking on the demanding title role. Dinara Alieva sings Desdemona while Evez Abdulla takes on the villainous Iago. Henrik Nánási conducts Verdi’s masterful score.

Performance Dates: August 19-Sept.15, 2018

Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” will see a number of casts in lead roles. Among the singers who will perform throughout the run are David Portillo, Mathew Swensen, Angela Vallone, Sydney Mancasola, Louise Alder, Kateryna Kasper, Michael Porter, Iurii Samoilov, Sebastian Geyer, Gordon Bintner, Ambur Braid, Danae Kontora, and Gloria Rehm. Simone Di Felice, Sebastian Weigle, and Florian Erdl lead in the pit.

Performance Dates: August 25-Dec. 25 2018

Malin Byström headlines a revival of Puccini’s “Tosca” with Stefano La Colla and Dario Solari. Conductor Lorenzo Viotti leads in the pit.

Performance Dates: Sept. 22-Oct. 20, 2018

Karen Vuong sings the title role in Dvořák’s “Rusalka” with Sebastian Weigle conducting.  Gerard Schneider, Katharina Magiera, Claudia Mahnke, and Andreas Bauer round out the cast.

Performance Dates: Sept. 28-Oct. 27, 2018

Lothar Koenigs leads Strauss’ “Capriccio” with Kirsten MacKinnon in the lead role, Sebastian Geyer, and AJ Glueckert.

Performance Dates: October 6-Nov. 4, 2018

Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” returns with Christina Nilsson, Elizabeth Sutphen, Vincent Wolfsteiner, and Paula Murrihy under the direction of Christoph Gedschold.

Performance Dates: Nov. 2-30 2018

Two casts headline Humperdinck’s classic “Hänsel und Gretel.” Cecelia Hall and Katharina Magiera share the role of Hänsel with Elizabeth Reiter and Kateryna Kasper alternating Gretel. David Afkham conducts the work in time for the holiday season.

Performance Dates:  December 7-30, 2018

Marlis Petersen reprises her interpretation in Lehár’s “Die Lustige Witwe” in Claus Guth’s production.  Kateryna Kasper, Matthew Swensen, and Christoph Pohl also star with Hartmut Keil conducting. Juanita Lascarro also sings the title role in later performances.

Performance Dates: Dec. 15, 2018-Jan. 20 2019

Constantinos Carydis conducts Handel’s “Xerxes” with Zanda Švēde in the title role. Lawrence Zazzo, Louise Alder, and Katharina Magiera also star.

Performance Dates: Jan. 5-Feb. 2, 2019

Jakub Józef Orliński sings the title role in Handel’s “Rinaldo” with Elizabeth Reiter, Karen Vuong, Julia Dawson, and Gordon Bintner. Simone Di Felice conducts.

Performance Dates: Jan. 12-23, 2019

Sebastian Weigle conducts a revival of Strauss’ “Daphne.” Jane Archibald sings the title role with Peter Marsh, Andreas Schager, and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner.

Performance Dates: Feb. 1-20, 2019

Bizet’s “Carmen” returns to the stage with Zanda Švēde, Evan LeRoy Johnson, Nadja Mchantaf, and Kirsten MacKinnon. Leo Hussain conducts Barrie Kosky’s provocative production.

Performance Dates: March 1-April 4, 2019

Audun Iversen and Claudia Mahnke star in Berg’s “Wozzeck” with Gabriel Feltz conducting.

Performance Dates: March 9-April 12, 2019

Iain MacNeil, Angela Vallone Iurii Samoilov, Gordon Bintner, Kirsten MacKinnon, and Cecelia Hall lead the ensemble in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.” Lawrence Foster conducts.

Performance Dates: April 5-22, 2019

James Rutherford sings Wotan in Wagner’s “Die Walküre” with Amber Wagner, Christiane Libor, Claudia Mahnke, and Peter Wedd. Sebastian Weigle conducts.

Performance Dates: April 21-May 8, 2019

Elza van den Heever, Stefano La Colla, and Carmen Topciu lead the cast in Bellini’s “Norma.” Giacomo Sagripanti conducts the revival.

Performance Dates: June 7-28 2019

Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust” closes the season with Giorgio Berrugi, Kihwan Sim, and Cecelia Hall in the leading roles. Roland Böer conducts Harry Kupfer’s production.

Performance Dates: June 16-30 2019


The season will also see a number of recitals from such superstars Günther Groissböck, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Luca Salsi, Ludovic Tézier, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Edita Gruberová, Michael Porter, and Michael Spyres.