Kim-Lillian Strebel, Andreas Jäpel, Dirk Kleinke, Nils Stäfe Lead Staatstheater Cottbus 2020-21 Season

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credits: Cross/Staatstheater Cottbus official website / Hupfeld/Staatstheater Cottbus official website)

The Staatstheater Cottbus has announced its incoming 2020-21 season, featuring several new operatic productions and orchestral works.

Here is the look.

Premieres – Musiktheater Cottbus

The Musiktheater Cottbus will present several new productions. The cast has been announced for the first production of the season, with other casts set to be announced at a later date.

Tchaikovsky’s rarely performed operatic jewel “Mazeppa” will open the season. British-Swiss soprano Kim-Lillian Strebel will perform as Maria, while baritone Andreas Jäpel will appear in the title role. The cast will be rounded out by Ulrich Schneider, Alexey Sayapin, Gesine Forberger, Jongsoo Yang, Hardy Brachmann, and Dirk Kleinke.

General Music Director Alexander Merzyn will conduct the production by Andrea Moses.

Performance dates: Oct. 25 & 30, 2020, Großes Haus

Bizet, Meilhac and Halévy’s masterwork “Carmen” will get a new look in a production by Stephan Märki. Mario Venzago will conduct.

Premiere date: Nov. 21, 2020, Großes Haus

Liederabend “… Mein Ganzes Herz” will feature “Ausgerechnet Bananen,” “In der Bar zum Krokodil,” and “Du schwarzer Zigeuner.” Frank Bernard conducts the production by Patric Seibert.

Premiere date: Nov. 28, 2020, Kammerbühne

A new production of “Der Teufel auf Erden” will be conducted by Edgar Wiersocki. Marielle Sterra directs.

Premiere date: Dec. 5, 2020, Theaterscheune Ströbitz

Lehár, Léon, and Stein’s operetta “Die Lustige Witwe” is next in the line. Johannes Zurl conducts the production by Felix Seiler.

Premiere date: Jan. 23, 2021, Großes Haus

The children’s opera “Das Welttierparlament” will be presented in a production by Anna von Gehren. Andreas Simon conducts.

Premiere date: Feb. 27, 2021, Kammerbühne

Alzheim” is based on interviews with patients in nursing homes in Thailand and in Cottbus. Jürgen Berger wrote the libretto. Johannes Zurl conducts the production by Ludger Engels.

Premiere date: March 19, 2021, Kammerbühne

Richard Strauss’ “Salome” will take the stage in a production by Jasmina Hadžiahmetović. Alexander Merzyn will conduct.

Premiere date: April 17, 2021, Großes Haus

Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” will be performed in a production by Claudia Meyer. The musical arrangement will be made by Michael Wilhelmi.

Premiere date: June 12, 2021, Kammerbühne


For the purpose of this article, we will focus only on vocal performances.

The first Philharmonic Concert will spotlight baritone Nils Stäfe. The program includes works by Brahms, Mahler, and Schönberg. Alexander Merzyn conducts.

Performance dates: Sept. 18 – 20, 2021, Großes Haus

Soloists of the Musiktheater ensembles and Chöre der Singakdemie Cottbus e.V. will present Graun’s “Weihnachtsoratorium,” and Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, D 950. Christian Möbius conducts.

Performance date: Dec. 18, 2020, Großes Haus

Soloists of the Musiktheater ensembles will perform Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9. The evening will feature the Opernchor and Sinfonischer Chor der Singakademie Cottbus. Alexander Merzyn conducts.

Performances dates: Dec. 31, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021, Großes Haus

The sixth Philharmonic Concert will showcase baritone Andreas Jäpel, who will sing Boulanger’s Psalm 129 for Baritone, Choir and Orchestra. Works by Haydn and Ravel will also be performed.

Jean Efflam Bavouzet will be at the piano. Anthony Bramall conducts.

Performance dates: March 26 – 28, 2021, Großes Haus

The Good Friday Concert will feature the Kammerchor der Singakademie Cottbus e.V. and Bach Consort Cottbus, which will perform Bach’s “The St. Matthew Passion,” BWV 244. Christian Möbius will conduct.

Performance date: April 2, 2021, Kreuzkirche

The open air performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” will star tenor Dirk Kleinke, and baritone Nils Stäfe. The soprano soloist will be announced at a later date. The evening will feature the Opernchor and Kinder- und Jugendchor des Staatstheaters Cottbus, and Sinfonischer Chor der Singakademie Cottbus e.V. Christian Möbius conducts.

Performance dates: May 23 – 24, 2021, Branitz