Dagmar Schellenberger & Aris Argiris Highlight Theater Chemnitz’ 2019-20 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Theater Chemnitz has announced its 2019-20 opera season.


The season will kick off with Arrigo Boito’s “Mefistofele,” directed by Balázs Kovalik and starring Magnus Piontek in the title role, Cosmin Ifrim as Faust, and Katerina Hebelkova as Margherita/Helena. They will be joined by Siyabonga Maqungo as Wagner/Nero and Sophia Maeno as Marta/Pantalis. Guillermo García Calvo and Jakob Brenner will lead the Robert-Schumann Philharmonie.

Performance Dates: Oct. 5, 2019 – Apr. 19, 2020

Oliver Ostermanns children’s opera “Bei der Feuerwehr wird der Kaffee Kalt,” based on the book by Hannes Hüttner, will be directed by Alexander Kuchinka and choreographed by Nini Stadlmann. The cast will include Matthias Winter as Löschmeister Wasserhose, Dagmar Schellenberger as Oma Eierschecke, Marie Hänsel and Franziska Krötenheerdt as Emilia Zahnlücke, Reto Rosin as Tierparkdirektor Futtersack, Sylvia Schramm-Heilfort as Telefon/RabeJakob, and Tommaso Randazzo as Arzt/Futterkoch. Ostermann will conduct.

Performance Dates: Nov. 2, 2019 – Jun. 10, 2020

Joan Anton Rechi will direct a new production of Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” with Guillermo Garcia Calvo at the podium. The cast will feature Magnus Piontek and David Steffens as Heinrich der Vogler, Viktor Antipenko and Benjamin Bruns as Lohengrin, Cornelia Ptassek and Maraike Schröter as Elsa, Martin Bárta as Telramund, Monika Bohinec and Stéphanie Müther as Ortrud, and Andreas Beinhauer as Heerrufer.

Performance Dates: Jan, 25 – Jun. 1, 2020

Bizet’s “Carmen,” directed by Arila Siegert, will feature Gustavo Peña as Don José, Andreas Beinhauer and Krisztián Cser as Escamillo, Sophia Maeno and Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Carmen, and Tatiana Larina and Maraike Schröter as Micaëla,

Performance Dates: Mar. 14 – Jun. 12, 2020

Next in the lineup is Johannes Pölzgutter’s new production of Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail.” The cast will include Tatiana Larina as Konstanze, Marie Hänsel as Blonde, Siyabonga Maqungo as Belmonte, and Magnus Piontek as Osmin.

Performance Dates: May 8 – Jun. 13, 2020

Thomas Winter will direct Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Evita,” featuring German text by Michael Kunze and staging from the original production by Harold Prince. Jakob Brenner will conduct. The cast will feature Marie Hänsel, Andreas Kindschuh, and Franziska Krötenheerdt among others.

Performance Dates: Jun. 26 – Jul. 12, 2020

Nils Braun will direct “Zarah 47,” a solo musical by Peter Lund showcasing the great songs of Zarah Leander. Sylvia Schramm will star in this intimate performance, which will take place at the Opercafé. Pianist Jeffrey Goldberg will provide accompaniment.

Performance Dates: Sept. 14, 2019 – Feb. 15, 2020

Harvey Schmidt’s “I Do! I Do!” will also be performed at the Opercafé, under the direction of Jasna Žaric and with German text by Peter Goldbaum. The musical, based on Jan de Hartog’s comedy “The Fourposter,” will feature Franziska Krötenheerdt as Agnes and Andreas Kindschuh as Michael. They will be joined by pianists Leonard Martynek and Jeffrey Goldberg.

Performance Dates: Jan. 23 – Jun. 11, 2020

Repertory Productions

Robert Lehmeier will direct Beethoven’s “Fidelio.” The cast will include Andreas Beinhauer as Fernando, Krisztián Cser as Pizarro, Gerhard Siegel as Florestan, Pauliina Linnosaari as Leonore, Magnus Piontek as Rocco, Marie Hänsel, Franziska Krötenheerdt, and Guibee Yang as Marzelline, and Siyabonga Maqungo as Jaquino. Guillermo García Calvo and Jakob Brenner will conduct.

Performance Dates: Sept. 8, 2019 – Feb. 21, 2020

Franz von Suppé’s operetta “Der Teufel auf Erden” will feature Alexander Kuchinka as Ruprecht, Matthias Winter as Rupert, Dagmar Schellenberger as Mutter Aglaja/Intendant, Gerhard Ernst as Oberst Donnersbach, Marie Hänsel and Franziska Krötenheerdt as Amanda, Sophia Maeno and Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Isabella, Andreas Beinhauer and Till von Orlowsky as Isidor, Reto Rosin as Reinhart, Matthias Otte as Haderer, Tilo Kühl-Schimmel and Jürgen Schimmel as Tanzschulleiter. The production will feature staging and costumes by director Hinrich Horstkotte and choreography by Sabrina Sadowska. Jakob Brenner will conduct.

Performance Dates: Sept. 21, 2019 – Mar. 8, 2020

Tobias Bartholmeß will conduct Wolfgang Böhmer und Peter Lund’s musical “Drachenherz,” featuring choreography by Neva Howard and staging and costumes by Ulrike Reinhard. The cast will include Florian Heinke as Günni, Johannes Krimmel as Hagen, Denis Riffel as Fred, Florentine Beyer as Brüning, Nicola Kripylo as Jenny, Tristan Giovanoli as Nasir, Timo Stacey as Tropi, Karim Plett as Baktus, and Ngako Keuni as Woda. This will be a co-production with the Neuköllner Oper Berlin, in collaboration with the Universität der Künste Berlin.

Performance Dates: Oct. 2, 2019 – Feb. 24, 2020

Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote,” under the direction of Michael Schilhan, will feature Siyabonga Maqungo as Tamino, Marie Hänsel, Franziska Toadheerdt, and Guibee Yang as Pamina, Olga Jelínková and Vanessa Waldhart as Queen of the Night, Andreas Beinhauer and Till von Orlowsky as Papageno, and Ralf Lukas and Magnus Piontek as Sarastro.

Performance Dates: Oct. 11, 2019 – Mar. 7, 2020

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s musical “My Fair Lady” will be directed by Erik Peterson and conducted by Jakob Brenner and Jeffrey Goldberg, with choreography by Sabine Arthold and costumes by Lukas Waßmann. The cast will include Matthias Winter as Higgins, Dorit Gäbler as Mrs. Higgins, Marie Hänsel and Joanna Lissai as Eliza, Björn Christian Kuhn as Doolittle, Gunther Emmerlich and Rolf Germeroth as Pickering, Sylvia Schramm Heilfort as Mrs. Pearce, Benjamin Sommerfeld as Freddy, André Eckert as Jamie, Tommaso Randazzo as Harry, Jürgen Mutze as Boxington, and Isabelle Weh as Lady Boxington/Mrs. Hopkins.

Performance Dates: Oct. 12, 2019 – Jun. 6, 2020

Johannes Pölzgutter will direct Johann Strauss’ operetta “Die Fledermaus,” with choreography by Sabrina Sadowska and costumes by Janina Ammon. The cast will feature Reto Rosin as Eisenstein, Tatiana Larina and Maraike Schröter as Rosalinde, Marie Hänsel and Franziska Krötenheerdt as Adele, Matthias Winter as Frank, Sophia Maeno, Sylvia Rena Ziegler, and Vasily Khoroshev as Orlofsky, and  Siyabonga Maqungo and Tommaso Randazzo as Alfred.

Performance Dates: Nov. 7, 2019 – Mar. 1, 2020

Jakob Brenner will conduct Gioachino Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” under the direction of Kobievan Rensburg. The cast will include Siyabonga Maqungo as Ramiro, Andreas Beinhauer as Dandini, Noé Colín as Magnifico, Sophia Maeno as Tisbe, Franziska Krötenheerdt as Clorinda, Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Angelina, and Ralf Lukas as Alidoro.

Performance Dates: Nov. 8, 2019 – Dec. 28, 2019

Engelbert Humperdinck’s fairytale opera “Hänsel und Gretel,” directed by Steffen Piontek and conducted by Jakob Brenner, will star Sophia Maeno and Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Hänsel and Marie Hänsel and Franziska Toadheerdt as Gretel. They will be joined by Andreas Beinhauer and Matthias Winter as Father, Dagmar Schellenberger as Mother, Peter Svensson as Witch, Sofiya Almázova as Sandman, and Katharina Baumgarten as Taumännchen.

Performance Dates: Dec. 4 – Dec. 26, 2019

Theater Chemnitz will present Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” sponsored by Sparkasse Chemnitz. Verena Stoiber will direct the Ring Cycle’s first opera, “Das Rheingold.” Guillermo García Calvo will lead the orchestra. The cast will include Krisztián Cser as Wotan, Andreas Beinhauer as Donner, Siyabonga Maqungo as Froh, Johannes Chum as Loge, Simone Schröder as Fricka, Maraike Schröter as Freia, Anja Schlosser as Erda, Jukka Rasilainen as Alberich, Reto Rosin as Mime, Magnus Piontek as Fasolt, Avtandil Kaspeli as Fafner, Guibee Yang as Woglinde, Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Wellgunde, and Sophia Maeno as Flosshilde.

Performance Dates: Jan. 31 – May 20, 2020

Monique Wagemakers will direct Wagner’s “Die Walküre,” with Guillermo García Calvo at the podium. The production will star Viktor Antipenko and Daniel Kirch as Siegmund, Maraike Schröter as Sieglinde, Aris Argiris as Wotan, Simone Schröder as Fricka, and Stéphanie Müther and Iordanka Derilova as Brünnhilde. They will be joined by Magnus Piontek as Hunding, Guibee Yang as Helmwige, Franziska Krötenheerdt as Gerhilde, Tatiana Larina as Ortlinde, Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Waltraute, Anja Schlosser as Siegrune, Simone Schröder as Rossweiße, Sophia Maeno as Grimgerde, and Nora Steuerwald as Schwertleite.

Performance Dates: Feb. 23 – May 21, 2020

Sabine Hartmannshenn will direct Wagner’s “Siegfried,” starring Daniel Kirch in the title role alongside Arnold Bezuyen as Mime, Ralf Lukas as Wanderer, Jukka Rasilainen as Alberich, Avtandil Kaspeli as Fafner, Anja Schlosser as Erda, Stéphanie Müther and Daniela Köhler as Brünnhilde, and Guibee Yang as Waldvogel. Guillermo García Calvo will conduct.

Performance Dates: Apr. 11 – May 22, 2020

The Ring Cycle will conclude with Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” directed by Elisabeth Stöppler and conducted by Guillermo García Calvo. The cast will feature Daniel Kirch as Siegfried, Pierre-Yves Pruvot as Gunther, Jukka Rasilainen as Alberich, Marius Bolos as Hagen, Stéphanie Müther as Brünnhilde, Cornelia Ptassek as Gutrune/3rd Norn, Anja Schlosser as Waltraute/1st Norn, Sylvia Rena Ziegler as Wellgunde/2nd Norn, Guibee Yang as Woglinde, and Sophia Maeno as Flosshilde.

Performance Dates: Apr. 13 – May 24, 2020

Director Matthias Winter’s “Nachtcafe: Alles Nur Theater” will feature favorite songs and arias, sung by Sylvia Schramm-Heilfort and Claudia Müller Kretschmer, in an intimate setting. Accompaniment will be provided by pianist Jeffrey Goldberg.

Performance Dates: Nov. 19, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

As part of the “Together Stronger” performance series, Udo Zimmermann’s chamber opera “Weisse Rose,” based on the texts of Wolfgang Willaschek, will examine the final moments of White Rose resistance group leaders Hans and Sophie Scholl before their execution in 1943. Nils Braun will direct, and Jakob Brenner will conduct. Katharina Baumgarten and Marie Hänsel will star as Sophie Scholl, alongside Andreas Beinhauer as Hans Scholl.

Performance Dates: TBA